Tooth decay and dental cavities are common problems among children. Decay can affect primary or baby teeth, causing discomfort and pain. But what causes tooth decay? Bacteria. While not all bacteria in the mouth are harmful, some bacteria can contribute to tooth decay.
Harmful bacteria feed on sugars and starches left in the mouth. Their digestive acids damage the outer layer of the teeth or the tooth enamel, creating decay.
We recommend that parents watch out for signs of decay, such as white, brown, or black spots on their child’s teeth. White spots indicate decalcification of the enamel, areas that are more susceptible to decay. Black and brown spots are more often indicative of a cavity.
Tooth pain or sensitivity are also common signs of cavities and dental infections. Cavities can expose the cells, nerves, and blood vessels, also known as the dental pulp, within the tooth to harmful bacteria.
In those cases, we will recommend root canal treatment in our Worcester, MA, pediatric dental office. Root canal treatment for children is one of the pediatric dentistry services we provide to the public. The treatment can remove the infected dental pulp and preserve the tooth.
What are Early Childhood Caries?
Children are more prone to tooth decay and cavities because they are more likely to consume sugar and carbohydrates. Younger patients may also not know the proper way to brush and floss, which allows decay-causing bacteria to build in the mouth.
Early childhood caries, also known as baby bottle decay in younger children, is marked by decay on multiple teeth. Baby bottles can cause decay if children are sent to bed with drinks like milk or juice that bathe their teeth in sugar. If most of the teeth have decay, patients may require root canal treatment, fillings, or even extractions.
We do not recommend a carbohydrate or sugar-free diet. However, a balanced diet with the occasional soda, cookies, chips, or other simple sugars and a good oral hygiene routine can prevent cavities.
Pediatric Root Canal Treatment in Worcester, MA
If your child experiences tooth pain, discoloration, or sensitivity, please contact our office. We will take dental X-rays to find the teeth affected by decay and plan treatment for your child.
There are two common types of root canal treatments: a pulpotomy and a pulpectomy. A pulpotomy removes decay from the crown of the tooth. When we provide a pulpotomy, we numb the tooth and remove inflamed tissue from the crown, leaving the tooth root.
We may use a laser or dental surgical instruments to remove the decay and filling material. A pulpectomy is an adult root canal that removes infected tissue in the crown and root.
Request a Dental Consultation
Have you noticed new developments in your child’s smile? Call our office for an examination today at (508) 625-5534 or schedule a dental visit for your child online.