5 Common Dental Problems in Children and How Pediatric Dentistry Can Help

Children are prone to various dental problems, but proper oral care can prevent these from becoming more significant issues in adulthood. Albany Pediatric Dentistry offers specialized services like habit counseling, managing gum diseases, and repairing dental injuries that can affect your child’s smile.

Cavities are a common dental problem in kids, caused by bacteria that eat away tooth enamel and lead to decay. Prevention starts with a regular brushing routine and a healthy diet that limits sugary foods.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a severe problem that can cause pain, infection, and other issues with eating, sleeping, and learning. It can also lead to permanent damage. Tooth decay happens when harmful bacteria in plaque eat away at the problematic tooth enamel. This process is made worse by eating sugary foods and drinks. Brushing teeth twice daily, flossing, and drinking fluoridated water is essential to help protect against cavities.

Tooth decay is caused by the bacteria in plaque turning sugars from food and drinks into acid that eats away at the hard enamel of teeth. The softer dentine underneath the enamel is then exposed and can decay quickly. Consult your dentist about sealants if you want to help prevent tooth decay. Your dentist will place these plastic coverings on the chewing surfaces of your molars. They cover the grooves and crannies where food gets stuck, protecting the enamel from plaque and acid.

Early Tooth Loss

Typically, children start losing their primary teeth around age six and complete the process by age twelve. However, the typical timeline can vary depending on your child’s health conditions. For example, some disorders such as Langerhans cell histiocytosis or osteopetrosis autosomal recessive two can cause an early loss of baby teeth and delayed permanent teeth erupting.

Early tooth loss can be problematic because it leaves space for permanent teeth to come in properly. The deciduous (baby) teeth act as guides for the adult teeth to erupt in a healthy alignment, so when they are lost too early, it can disrupt the development of the permanent teeth and lead to serious dental issues. Fortunately, dentists can recommend space maintainers to stop other nearby teeth from shifting until the missing tooth is ready to emerge.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, known as periodontitis, attacks the gum tissue and destroys it over time. It can lead to tooth and bone loss and, if left untreated, cause teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. Swollen, red, and bleeding gums are the first signs of gum disease called gingivitis and can be easily prevented with good oral hygiene.

If your child brushes and flosses twice daily, he will be less likely to develop gum disease or cavities in his baby teeth. Visiting a pediatric dentist Albany for regular oral checkups will help spot problems early and give your children the best possible dental health.

Tooth Grinding

Children are prone to accidents, especially when playing sports or roughhousing with siblings. These dental injuries can result in teeth chipping, cracking, or even being knocked out entirely.

Gum disease (gingivitis) is another oral health concern in children, resulting from poor oral hygiene that irritates the gums and leads to plaque buildup. This irritates and inflames the gum tissue, making it swollen and red and bleeding easily.

Teeth grinding, known as bruxism, is another common problem for kids that can wear away the tooth enamel over time, leading to sensitive and crooked teeth. Stress, misaligned teeth, or anxiety can cause this. Many kids outgrow this habit by adolescence. Children can prevent bruxism by wearing a night guard at bedtime. They can also get help from their family dentist to reduce stress and find a solution for teeth grinding.

Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity is more than annoying; it can be a warning sign of other dental problems. It is caused when the outer layer of your child’s teeth – the enamel – becomes damaged. When this occurs, the softer inner part of their tooth, called dentine, is exposed. This can cause a sharp, quick pain or zing triggered by various stimuli such as cold, hot, sweet, acidic foods or breathing with your mouth open.

The nerves in dentine are connected via microscopic channels called tubules. When these tubules are stimulated, they send a message to the brain that causes the painful sensation you feel. Your Albany pediatric dentist will be able to recommend treatment options that can help with this problem.