Would you consider tooth decay a serious matter if the tooth in question was a baby tooth? Primary teeth, after all, are destined to fall out. So what does it matter if one of these teeth sustains tooth decay or develops a cavity? As it turns out, it matters quite a lot. To learn why, read below as your Des Moines IA dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson, explains just how serious tooth decay is even when baby teeth are involved.
Children and Tooth Decay
Primary teeth are meant to act as placeholders for the permanent teeth growing in behind them. Thus, if tooth decay is allowed to go unchecked and one or more of these important teeth are lost prematurely, orthodontic problems can occur. Without teeth in position to act as placeholders, other teeth near to the open space may drift toward the gap. Unfortunately, crowding can result when the permanent teeth grow in, creating orthodontic and even oral health problems as the multiple crevices will be hard to clean and offer a perfect hiding place for harmful bacteria.
In addition to orthodontic problems, untreated tooth decay poses a health threat of its own. A cavity that goes without treatment may well worsen as the bacteria responsible for it delve ever deeper into the tooth. Eventually, these bacteria may reach the tooth’s pulp and can infect it. Unfortunately, this infection can do far more than kill the tooth itself. In some cases, these infections have been known to spread into the jaw, throughout the mouth, and even into the body, where they can result in illness. Thus, it is important that tooth decay in baby teeth be treated promptly.
Schedule a Visit with Your Des Moines IA Children’s Dentist
Has your child attended a dental visit in the past six months? If not, the time has come for a dental checkup. Contact your Des Moines IA children’s dentist, Dr. Johnson, today to schedule an appointment or a consultation by calling our 50266 dentist office at 515-223-9764. We welcome patients from West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, and nearby Des Moines metro communities.