Most people are extremely careful about the health of their children, and ensure that they receive vaccinations and protect them from catching infections. However, there is one area that parents tend to neglect until they find their kids crying in pain – the teeth. Tooth decay in children is a very prevalent and often neglected condition.
Thanks to present-day eating habits and the indulgence of parents, this problem is growing increasingly common. In order to protect your kids from the condition, it is important that you understand the most common causes and symptoms of tooth decay.
The Causes Of Tooth Decay In Children
Tooth decay in children arises from the same major cause as in adults – bits of food that stick to teeth turn into acid due to the action of bacteria in the mouth and over time, this causes the tooth surface to corrode, leading to cavities.
When you do not brush your teeth regularly, at least twice a day, the layer of plaque that builds up over the tooth enamel is not removed properly, increasing the likelihood of an acid attack on the tooth.
This is one of the reasons why tooth decay in children is quite likely, because very young kids sometimes skip brushing teeth unless parents enforce it very strictly. Besides, children consume greater quantities of sugary foods such as cake, cereal that is sugar coated, chocolates, and cookies and the high levels of sugar provide an open invitation to dental cavities.
In some families, parents with tooth decay pass on the bacteria to their kids through the saliva when they eat with the same fork or spoon or when they affectionately kiss their little ones. These are the primary causes of tooth decay.
The Symptoms Of Tooth Decay In Children
Early detection of tooth decay in children can be quite difficult for anyone other than a dentist. The first thing to look for is a dull, white band that appears close to the base of a tooth, where it erupts from the gum. In some children, the teeth may be peppered with brown specks. As the decay progresses, your child may complain of one or more of the following symptoms:
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Bad breath
- Toothache that ranges from mild to severe and occurs when chewing food or (in the later stages of decay) even at rest
- Black spots on the teeth
- Pain in the teeth that increases on consuming cold or hot food or drinks
- Sensation of pain while brushing or flossing
If your child has severe tooth decay, there may be an infection and formation of pus at the tooth’s base and this often manifests as a deep, throbbing pain in the tooth. Some kids may also develop a swelling in the jaw, along with mild fever.
Just like other aspects of your child’s health, it is vital that you pay attention to his or her teeth. Do not ignore dental problems believing that they will go away when your child loses his baby teeth and grows permanent ones. Tooth decay in children can lead to problems with the jaw and in turn, affect their ability to speak and articulate with clarity – which is why it’s important that you adopt tooth decay treatment measures.