Some parents struggle with the concept of filling cavities in baby teeth, and with providing restorative dental care in teeth that will fall out anyway. While it may seem futile, it is important to listen and follow through with all dental recommendations your dentist provides.
Ignoring Baby Teeth Cavities Can Cause Problems with Permanent Teeth Formation
The permanent teeth form below the primary teeth. If a cavity causes the jaw to become infected, the formation of the permanent teeth can be affected. Even small cavities should be filled so that the decay does not spread to nearby teeth.
The Tooth Can Become Abscessed and Painful
An abscessed tooth is one that is infected. The gum tissue will become red and swollen, and the infection can spread to the jawbone. An abscessed tooth is very painful, and it is often caused when a cavity is left untreated and bacteria get inside the tooth. Treatment of a primary tooth that has become abscessed is generally extraction combined with antibiotics to treat the infection.
The Cavity Can Get Large and Cause Root Pain
Even if the tooth does not become abscessed, the cavity can grow and eventually reach the root of the tooth. With a portion of the root exposed, significant tooth pain is experienced. When this pain occurs, it is often a dental emergency that results in a tooth extraction. Dental emergencies are never fun for the child, and it is important to keep visits to the dentist as routine as possible to avoid fear of the dentist.
The Child May Not Eat Properly if a Tooth is Sore
While a tooth with a small cavity may not cause your child to cry, the cavity may cause your child to avoid certain foods or not chew on that part of their mouth. Your child may avoid foods that are more difficult to chew, such as crunchy fruits and vegetables. To keep your child's jaw from getting out of alignment, make sure to fill all cavities when they are detected.
While baby teeth do fall out, pediatric dentistry is still vital, and some children do not lose their final baby teeth until the age of twelve. It is important to treat all baby teeth with the same care you would treat permanent teeth. The role of baby teeth in the development of your child's smile is the key to a successful smile as an adult.