Different ages require different aspects of medical treatments and this is why pediatric dentistry is there to answer the questions of adolescents’ and children’s dental problems. One of the major fields of studies in this medical subject is taking preventive approaches on dental treatments in lower ages. In this article, we have talked about 10 of the most common dental problems in children. This will be an interesting read for any thoughtful, caring parents. poor dental health leads to many bad consequences. We should seek pediatric dentists’ advice to find the best preventive health tips on health of children’s teeth and mouth.
Tooth decay among children
Tooth decay is a common problem among children that can be prevented if diagnosed early in life. Pediatric dentists can predict a lot of future problems in children. They can hep parents in giving instructions and taking preventive measurements.
Bad breath is another dental problem children experience
Halitosis, to put it simply bad breath, is everybody’s nightmare. Seriously, children face this problem because of the type of diets, tooth decay or other factors.
Not to mention some basic factors, the greatest of these can be bacteria in the mouth and throat. Since bacteria feed on food particles, the produced sulfur and acid are chemicals to blame for the foul breath.
The congestion of bacteria in the mouth can cause many problems like gum disease and poor oral health. There are other diseases such as chronic sinusitis, diabetes and digestive diseases that can have a role in bad-smelling breath.
Sometimes taking some medications or drugs can cause dryness in the mouth. If there is an increase of bacterial activities, bad breath can occur.
Oral hygiene is the best treatment of bad breath, which is a challenging problem for the pediatric dentists. Brushing teeth, appropriate healthy diets, using mouthwash can be practical methods to try.
Another common dental problem among children is teeth sensitivity. If you feel any pain by eating hot foods, drinking cold drinks or breathing in the cold air, you might have sensitivity in your teeth.
Teeth sensitivity has something to do with delicate nature of primary teeth in children or mainly because of enamel thin layers on the primary teeth. Plaque formation and acidity can easily destroy the thin enamel surface.
With eroded enamel and receding gums comes greater exposure of the root’s tooth, causing teeth sensitivity.
To prevent teeth sensitivity in children, pits and fissure sealants or fluoride therapy are treatment choices for one of the common dental problems among children.
Children get into the habit of thumb sucking in their early years of life. In fact, it works out as a relaxation mechanism to stay away from stress. They tend to do that while they are 2 or 3 years old, but if the habit continues as they age, it can impact the children’s dental health negatively.
Thumb sucking causes discrepancies in the teeth and jaw. Malocclusion is a problem that can also occur if thumb sucking continues, which needs orthodontic treatments later. Speech disorder is also possible negative side of the thumb sucking.
Try to visit a pediatric dentist if your child doesn’t stop this habit after 4 years of age.
Gum disease begins with some stages. First, inflammation in the gum area, which is called gingivitis, occurs as plaque formation and poor oral health are contributing factors here. The loss of dentine and the whole teeth as a result is the serious issue here.
Plaque formation and its transformation into tartar (hard coating of plaque on the teeth) causes the gums to swell and become red. Signs and symptoms of bleeding on the gums or teeth sensitivity or even bad breath are other serious consequences that can happen.
3 gum disease types that are common among children:
- Chronic gingivitis: the most common dental problems for children. It appears with swollen gums, slight pain, red gums and bleeding in the gum area.
- Aggressive periodontitis: after the gingivitis, it is the second stage of the gum disease that occurs usually in adolescence. It can cause damages to the tissue.
- Severe periodontal problems: the damages occur not just on soft tissue, but the hard tissues are also engaged and bone deformities are severe forms of this anomaly
With simple ways like brushing your teeth daily, using dental floss and regular maintenance appointments to the dentist, you can prevent gum disease from happening. For serious cases, the pediatric dentist may prescribe deep scaling for the child.
Bruxism (grinding your teeth)
When your child consciously or asleep, intentionally or not grinds their teeth, we can say it is a sign of a condition scientifically called bruxism. It is another mischief that pediatric dentists need to fight it off.
It is estimated that 2 or 3 out of 10 children have bruxism. There are some reasons why children grind their teeth, such as anger, stress, hyperactivity, jaw and teeth-to-teeth discrepancies.
As children grow older, this bad habit will stop. If you see that habit continues, you should know that it can destroy primary and even permanent teeth, causing teeth-to-teeth and muscle pains in the mouth. Deteriorating enamel, headache and teeth sensitivity are symptoms of chronic teeth grinding.
Having a consultation with an orthodontist can help you find a way to reduce the degree of tooth grinding or even stop that.
Oral lesions (mouth ulcer or canker sore) are common problems among children
These ulcers occur in oral cavity, lingual and gum area. It has usually a brown or white color surrounded by red around the spot.
These lesions don’t last and children may experience that at times. But with these ulcers in the mouth, children may face some challenges in eating and tend to react to these small wounds. Lesions are the result of these:
- Types of diets
- Trauma or stress
Also, wrong ways of brushing teeth, biting lips, gums or tongue can lead to much worse conditions of the lesions, which are challenging on the treatment in pediatric dentistry. Remember:
- To promote the healing effects, provide your child with mild tasting foods and drinks
- Use toothpastes without sodium lauryl sulfate(SLS)
- Smooth brushes are great and there is no irritation to the gums or teeth during brushing
- Use anti-bacterial mouthwash
- To relieve the symptoms in children, use topical medications.
Primary teeth falling off and the problems that occur
For most of the children seeing their primary teeth falling is sort of exiting. In a natural process, these deciduous (primary) teeth fall off and replaced by permanent teeth.
The first primary teeth fall around 6 years of age, but molar teeth may withstand until the ages of 10 to 12, and then begin to fall. Overall, with the coming of 13 years of age, there should be 28 permanent teeth and no baby teeth.
This process of falling is painless for most of the children (lucky ones), but sometimes, with the delay or early primary teeth falling, pediatric dentistry is there to face some problems again!
Therefore, if there are signs of pain while losing their baby teeth, consult with your pediatric dentist on that or related cases of this incident.
Over-retained primary teeth
If there is a delay in primary teeth falling, it causes problems for the eruption of the permanent teeth.
For example, permanent teeth erupt but there is one remaining baby teeth. It signifies that there is no permanent tooth to come out, which is why the baby tooth is not falling.
Pediatric dentists may need to pull out the tooth or, with the eruption of permanent teeth, orthodontists use special techniques to order the growing of the permanent teeth.
Most children are afraid of visiting the dentist
The fear is not directly linked to teeth or any other dental problems. By the way, this fear can impact children’s behavior during the appointments to the dentist’s.
This creates a monstrous impression for children while going to the dentist’s and challenges during the treatment procedures. As a result, caring steps during the growing age for the child may lead to further problems later.
Children should have a comforting and friendly atmosphere in order for the serious procedures like root canal treatment (endodontic therapy), tooth extraction, filling, etc. to be done.