Nobody wants to see a child go through developing and having cavities, but you might think that in the long run, it's not a big deal. After all, baby teeth are intended to fall out naturally on their own in order to make space for adult teeth moving in. However, deep cavities in baby teeth could potentially cause problems for your child's adult teeth, too. Here are three potential issues your child could face.
Baby Teeth Act As Guides
Baby teeth aren't just in your child's mouth go act as a chewing surface until their adult teeth are finished growing. They also act as guides for those adult teeth.
When your child's adult teeth are growing, they're also slowly moving into the position that they will eventually take in your child's mouth. The baby tooth acts like a placeholder for this process. Once the adult tooth moves in far enough, the baby tooth falls out, and the adult tooth takes over the spot. However, if your child were to lose one of their baby teeth prematurely due to a neglected cavity, the alignment on the adult teeth can become misaligned. As a result, your child's teeth could grow in crooked and braces could become a necessity in the future.
Another major problem is that impacted teeth can occur due to a lack of baby teeth. In the same way that an adult tooth can move in crookedly, it can also start to drift entirely into the wrong position without a baby tooth guiding it. In these instances, an adult tooth can collide with another baby tooth, or even a neighboring adult tooth. Impaction is a painful experience, and if it isn't treated quickly, it can easily result in neighboring teeth becoming crooked or damaged, too. Impacted teeth can't always be fixed with braces, and in some cases, tooth extractions for the impacted teeth becomes necessary.
A cavity is simply a hole in a tooth. However, it's what can happen to the tooth through that hole that's another potential problem for your child.
When a hole is bored through the tooth's enamel, bacteria and foreign substances can get into the deeper parts of the tooth. This could allow for the pulp and root of their tooth to become infected. This is also a painful condition, but it could have potential negative consequences for your child's adult teeth and gums, too.
Infections in the root of a tooth don't necessarily stay in the root. Once a bacterial infection reaches the root, it can spread to other parts of the mouth through the circulatory system and by traveling through neighboring tissues. Your child could end up with gum disease, and they could potentially have the bacteria spread to the adult teeth that are still waiting to move in. This could permanently damage the adult tooth and prevent it from growing in normally, or it could cause it to die completely.
Cavities should always be taken seriously, whether it's in a baby tooth or adult tooth. If you know or suspect that your child has a cavity, get help from a pediatric dentist right away so that you and your child can avoid these three big threats to their oral health.