Caries, or tooth decay, is a preventable disease. While caries might not endanger your life, it may negatively impact your quality of life. When your teeth and gums are consistently exposed to large amounts of starches and sugars, acids may form that begin to eat away at tooth enamel. Carbohydrate rich foods such as candy, cookies, soft drinks and even fruit juices leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits bond with the bacteria that normally survive in your mouth and form plaque. The combination of deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth, with tooth decay resulting.
Your teeth expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Hot and cold food and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Just breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth.
Delayed Exfoliation of Primary Teeth
Delayed exfoliation of primary teeth, or the delay in losing baby teeth, is a common dental problem in children. Baby teeth hold the space for permanent teeth and must fall out in order to make room for the permanent (adult) teeth to come in – in the correct position. This process usually occurs between the ages of 6 to 13. A delay in exfoliation can indicate that there may be a problem.
Issues associated with the delayed loss of baby teeth include:
- Overcrowding of teeth
- Development of a second row of teeth when the permanent teeth come in
- Impacted permanent teeth
In order for permanent teeth to erupt correctly, it may be necessary to have the affected baby teeth extracted. If your child experiences delayed exfoliation, early orthodontic treatment might be recommended as well.
Primary Tooth Trauma
Dental emergencies involving trauma are common in children, with 10% of children experiencing trauma to their teeth. Dental trauma can be caused by falling during the toddler age, playground and bicycle accidents in school-aged kids, and car accidents and athletic injuries in teens. Dental trauma occurs when a tooth is knocked out, loosened or fractured. If this happens, it is important to call our office – even if it is after hours. We may want to see you immediately or give advice until we can see you the next morning.
Gum, or periodontal disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage. Gum disease begins with a sticky film of bacteria call plaque. Gums in the early stage of disease, or gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may fall out or need to be removed by a dentist. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing. One indicator of gum disease is consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.
Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of canker sores can be reduced by the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents. The canker sore has a white or gray base surrounded by a red border.
A bite that does not meet property (a malocclusion) can be inherited, or some types may be acquired. Some causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth or misaligned jaws. Accidents or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking over an extended period of time, may cause malocclusions.
Please contact us for more information:
Dentists 4 Children, LLC
7015 Halcyon Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117