Are you worried about your child’s oral health?
A kid’s childhood is full of experiences to help them grow and explore. Your child may trip and fall or crash a bike and scrape their knees. These are normal experiences, and it’s all part of learning.
However, what will you do when their health is at risk? Do you know how to identify common dental problems in children that need immediate attention? Studies show that over 49% of kids between the ages of 2 and 11 have experienced dental caries.
For the down-low on the most common dental problems in kids, check out this guide. Read on to know when to take your child to a pediatric dentist before their dental health worsens.
Tooth Decay and Cavities
Amongst all common dental problems in children that need immediate attention, cavities hold a special place. Almost every child gets them at some point, and plenty of adults do too. If you start noticing any of the tell-tale signs, then consider going to a dentist for kids.
Potential signs of cavities include pain and sensitivity, as well as discoloration. Cavities happen when plaque builds up on the teeth, and especially near the gums. This plaque comes from food debris and contains many acids that erode your teeth’ protective enamel coating.
If you notice a sort of off-white discoloration on your kid’s teeth, it could be an early sign. Leaving it untreated will worsen and decay more of the tooth, leading to pain and potential tooth rot. This decay could even reach the nerve.
This might result in your kid needing a jacket or, worse, a root canal when they’re older. The dentist might even need to pull the tooth right away without waiting for them to grow up.
The fact is most kids aren’t good at keeping their teeth clean, and they tend to neglect to floss. Throw in sweets and sugary drinks, and cavities can quickly get out of hand.
If you’re noticing your kid wincing when they chew, bite, or speak, then something could be wrong. The usual first suspect is a cavity, but sensitivity has many causes. These include over-grinding of the teeth, known as bruxism, and issues with previous fillings.
Your teeth and bite fit together in such a way to allow you to grind away food debris as a sort of cleaning mechanism. Ideally, they line up to help prevent food from getting stuck in the indents of your molars. Bruxism happens when your child grinds their teeth together more than usual.
This can happen while sleeping or in daily life, but it leads to excessive wear and tear. It isn’t easy to spot with the untrained eye, but it’s easy to identify pain and discomfort.
If your child’s filling gets cracked or comes loose, this can also cause sensitivity. This is especially noticeable when eating or brushing.
The color of many modern fillings blends into the tooth, making them hard to spot compared to older silvery fillings. Whether you can see the issue or not, localized pain is a good indicator that your child has sensitivity. Not dealing with the root causes of sensitivity can cause it to get worse and leave permanent damage.
This is especially true in the case of bruxism, but not fixing fillings can also lead to infection.
This might come as a shock to you, but your kids can still get gum disease, including gingivitis. It isn’t what most parents think about when it comes to child dental problems, but it’s true. Gingivitis usually happens first as a prequel to more serious gum disease.
The signs to look out for are mouth or oral pain. However, on top of this, you’ll notice receding gums and swelling, especially near the gum line. Your child might also bleed from their gums, especially when flossing or brushing.
Gingivitis and gum disease have their roots in poor oral hygiene. This is because they are often caused by a buildup of plaque and bacteria. As such, symptoms are sometimes accompanied by severe bad breath.
If left untreated, gingivitis will turn into more severe types of gum disease. These will eat away at the gums and teeth, sometimes causing permanent damage. Having and fighting gum disease can devastate a kid’s self-esteem and affect how they eat and talk.
Crooked Teeth Or Bite Issues
This is one that often gets overlooked until kids are older and the conversation turns to braces. The kinds of problems a pediatric dentist or orthodontist can help with begin much earlier. Issues with teeth alignment or bites go beyond the aesthetics of a nice smile.
Misaligned teeth can result from a variety of factors, including genetics. Overcrowding, or teeth growing in too tight a space, can cause serious problems. These include jaw pain and problems and even cracked teeth as they push against each other to grow.
If you don’t check their alignment, they could end up with more than an overbite. Crooked, misaligned, and crowded teeth can lead to issues with oral hygiene. Many patients who develop gum disease don’t know the proper methods to clean their teeth.
If you notice your kiddo has bite issues or crooked teeth, take them to a pediatric dentist asap. There is a strong likelihood that they can’t reach all the nooks and crannies when they clean. This way, you can keep them from getting cavities or gum disease.
Many pediatric specialists also offer sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry relaxes your child or puts them to sleep. This is great for kids who have anxiety or fear of dentists or who have serious work that needs doing.
Know the Common Dental Problems in Children that Need Immediate Attention
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to the most common dental problems in children that need immediate attention. One of the most important things is to listen to your kid, especially if they feel pain or discomfort. Some issues like crooked teeth are noticeable even before they become a problem.
Other issues require a trained specialist to spot and deal with. At Suwanne Pediatric Dentistry, we know how to deliver beautiful and healthy smiles. Give us a call today and together with your kid, take control of their dental health.