Childhood is all about adventure, exploration, and growth. But during these years of development, your child can also experience some common or occasional dental diseases or problems. Paying close attention to your child’s dental changes or problems and taking necessary treatments at an early stage is highly important. Untreated dental disease can cause poor and misaligned tooth development and even aggravate dental diseases further, leading to more serious health issues as your child grows.
Here are the four most common dental diseases your child can experience or develop and their respective treatments.
Periodontal or gum Disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is one of the most common dental diseases among children. This disease occurs when a plaque builds up near the gum line and when the bacteria in the plaque infects the gum, causing it to get swollen, puffy red, or even make them bleed easily (gingivitis).
Although this doesn’t necessarily impact the teeth or dental area, untreated gum disease can spread the infection in it, damaging the bones that support your child’s teeth and the other teeth structures. With time, gum disease can loosen the teeth and eventually cause teeth loss.
A regular dental checkup or a stellar oral hygiene routine directed by a dentist can prevent your child from developing gum disease. With professional cleaning and solid homecare, gum disease at a mild stage is completely reversible in children.
In severe cases, your child’s dentists may consider deep cleaning, special rinses, or other medications. Deep cleaning (scaling and root planting) involves removing the plaque under the gum and the infected tissues.
When using medications, your dentists may either put medications in the periodontal pockets or give them an oral pill. In very severe cases, surgery may be necessary to clean the infected areas under the gum and to reshape and replace the damaged tissues.
Sometimes called tooth decay, this is another common dental disease in children. Cavities cause a more permanently damaged area in your child’s tooth. They occur when built-up dental plaque eats the tooth enamel, causing a hole in the teeth. Plaque forms when the food, its acid content, and the saliva in the mouth combine. Plaque usually appears as a sticky substance that covers the teeth.
Regular brushing and flossing routines can prevent plaques from building up in the mouth. So your child is likely to develop this dental disease when he/she doesn’t brush or floss their teeth properly.
Dental fillings are the most common treatment used to treat cavities in children, especially for children who have one or more cavities. Your child’s dentists can fill either the permanent or the baby teeth, depending on the condition of the cavities.
When filling the teeth, the dentist removes the tooth decay and then fills the hole with a composite material. If the cavities have spread too much, the structure of your child’s teeth may change after the tooth decay has been extracted. In such a situation, once the dentist removes the tooth decay, a dental stainless steel crown will be placed. A dental crown is a hollow teeth-shaped cap placed over the teeth that restore a decayed (because of cavities), damaged, or missing tooth to its normal shape, size, and function as they grow back.
If the cavity is more severe, your child’s affected baby teeth can be extracted. Once extracted, a space maintainer is placed in the gap of the extracted teeth, allowing the permanent teeth to grow properly aligned in the right place and position.
Over-Retained Baby Teeth
Sometimes your child’s baby tooth (also known as primary tooth) will not lose or fall. This will cause the permanent teeth that are about to grow to erupt in the same space. As a result, your child will have two teeth in a place meant for just one tooth.
In some other cases, the root of the baby or primary tooth is fused to the bone, not allowing the permanent tooth to replace the baby tooth. In such situations, the over-retained primary teeth will not loosen or shed.
The most common cause of an over-retained primary tooth is the absence of a permanent tooth. Besides root issues like trauma, infection pathology, misalignment, obstructions, or impacted permanent teeth can also cause over-retained baby teeth.
The treatment for this dental disease depends on how many over-retained baby teeth your child has. Generally, the dentist will remove the baby’s teeth so that the permanent teeth can grow into place without any distractions.
Once the permanent teeth are fully grown and if they have any misalignments, the dentists will suggest braces to align the teeth right and bring them back to shape. Some dentists may also suggest dental implants or fixed bridges.
If you feel your child is developing one of these dental diseases or any other dental problems, then we at the American Dental Clinic in Dubai can provide your child with the most effective dental treatment. The professional team of children’s specialty dentists at our advanced American dental clinic makes your child’s dental health their top priority.