In recent years, tooth decay among children has increased in prevalence. The Center for Disease Control attributes this to increased sugar intake, drinking non-fluoridated water, and neglecting regular appointments for cleanings and checkups with a pediatric dentist. Early detection of tooth decay is incredibly important for maintaining proper oral function and a child’s quality of life. With regular checkups, cavities can be detected in their earliest stages with advanced technology.
How Tooth Decay Affects Children
If tooth decay goes undetected and untreated, it will only worsen. Advanced tooth decay will ultimately affect larger areas of a tooth and if left untreated for quite some time, it will eventually reach the innermost structures of a tooth like the root canal. Since the root canal contains nerve endings, a deep cavity can produce considerable pain. When cavity-causing bacteria infect the nerve endings, children will likely suffer with daily discomfort along with difficulty speaking and chewing.
Pain associated with severe cavities can affect a child’s educational and social development. Discomfort from tooth pain is distracting and can cause a child to fall behind in school. Children suffering with severe decay may also develop speech impediments.
Detecting and Treating Tooth Decay
Treating tooth decay is best done as soon as possible. The sooner a cavity is treated, the more conservative the restoration. For instance, a small cavity can be treated with a minimally invasive restoration called a filling. A filling will fill in the pit caused by decay while protecting the tooth from further damage.
Cavities are detected by using X-ray technology and handheld instruments that use digital sensors to measure the density of a tooth. Both of these diagnostic techniques can reveal newly formed areas of decay as well as the extent of advanced decay.
Our children’s dentist recommends that parents schedule checkups and professional cleanings every six months to help preserve oral health. Parents should also assist children with practicing proper oral hygiene that includes thorough brushing and flossing.
To schedule an appointment, call our friendly staff at Dental Depot at your convenience.