Children are prone to developing cavities, often due to sugary diets and inadequate oral hygiene habits. Around 42% of kids between the ages of 2 and 11 have at least one cavity. One way you can prevent or quickly treat cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems is by working with an experienced pediatric dentist in Nashville TN.
Dr. Ryan Cregger offers dental sealants and other preventative treatments that can help your children avoid getting cavities and other serious dental problems. To help our patients stay ahead of common dental problems, we offer this overview of the Top 5 dental problems that you should avoid.
1. Gum Disease
Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss, according to the CDC. One of the earliest signs of gum disease in children is bleeding gums. Gum disease can generally be classified into three stages.
Mild gum disease is sometimes called gingivitis. The gum tissue swells as it reacts to the presence of bacteria along your child’s gumline. If your child has plaque or tartar, that allows bacteria to remain in contact with the gum tissue, which can prolong how long the child has gingivitis.
Medium and advanced gum disease can lead to permanent damage to your child’s teeth and gums. Unaddressed gum disease eventually leads to gum tissue recession that can increase your child’s risk of developing tooth decay.
For parents, the best way to prevent gum disease is to watch their child’s diet. Sugary diets lead to gum disease. Oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing are also great ways to prevent gum disease.
Dr. Ryan will look for signs of gum disease during your child’s annual check-ups and exams. Dental cleanings can reverse gum disease.
2. Tooth Decay
A tooth cavity is easy to treat when it’s found early. Tooth decay looks like small pits or dark spots on the enamel. Often the decay is found on the tops of the molars.
Once a cavity forms, it continues to grow. Bacteria in the areas of demineralized enamel feed on sugar and release acid that slowly erodes the enamel. Eventually, a cavity will lead to tooth sensitivity and oral discomfort.
Parents can help their children prevent cavities by having them brush in the morning and at night. If your child is young, you’ll want to supervise their brushing. Kids love to brush along with mom or dad, so make it a family routine.
Dr. Ryan will look for cavities during your child’s check-ups and cleanings. Small cavities can be gently removed using a special drill before being filled with dental bonding. We can even have your child’s molars coated with sealants that place a safe and protective barrier over the enamel.
3. Dental Erosion
Cavities are small pits on enamel. Dental erosion refers to the broad erosion of enamel. The dental problem is also known as acid erosion because high levels of acid are typically the cause of damage to the enamel.
Teeth that are damaged by dental erosion can lose their defining contours. The enamel can become yellow and discolored. Children who have eroded teeth often complain that their teeth feel sensitive.
Dental erosion can be caused by a number of things. Sugary diets lead to higher levels of acidity, which can cause dental erosion.
Acid reflux is another common cause of the oral condition known as acid erosion. Bruxism (nighttime teeth grinding) can also wear down enamel.
Parents should take steps to ensure that their children do not consume acidic foods and drinks. Soft drinks, even when they are sugar-free, can contain high amounts of acid. Dr. Ryan will look for signs of dental erosion during your child’s dental visits.
4. Crooked Teeth
Many people think of crooked teeth as a cosmetic problem, but dental misalignments can make it hard to chew and speak with ease. Crowded teeth are also more prone to tooth decay since certain areas of the enamel are harder to reach.
A bright and beautiful smile is one of the best gifts we can give our children. Once your child’s teeth have fully developed, Dr. Ryan can assess whether they are a good candidate for teeth-straightening. Orthodontic treatments can take several months to a few years to complete, but the results can be enjoyed for a lifetime.
5. A Tooth Injury
Children are prone to accidents, and sometimes those injuries affect the teeth. If your child chips or cracks one of his or her teeth, call our office immediately.
Those minor tooth injuries can usually be fixed using dental bonding. Waiting too long to treat their teeth may lead to cavities or infections.
Minor cuts to the gums, tongue, and cheek may seem alarming. The soft tissue in the mouth is highly vascular and prone to bleeding.
If the bleeding does not stop within a few minutes, call our office so a member of our team can assess whether your child is having a dental emergency. We treat and prioritize dental emergencies.
Tooth injuries can be hard to prevent since they are always unexpected. Make sure that your child is wearing protective gear like helmets and mouthguards when they play sports. Orthodontic treatment can address protruding teeth that are more susceptible to injury.
Contact Your Pediatric Dentist in Nashville TN Today
Are you looking for a pediatric dentist in Nashville TN? Dr. Ryan and his team offer an inviting and warm environment that is full of smiles and laughter. His advanced medical training allows him to identify and treat the dental problems described in this article.
One of the most effective ways of preventing your child from developing tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems is by working with a trusted pediatric dentist. Contact Brentwood Pediatric Dentistry today to set up your child’s dental appointment.