Does tooth decay in baby teeth affect adult teeth?Paediatric Dentistry Dental
My daughter has decay in her baby tooth now. I was wondering if this will affect her adult teeth after it falls off?
It really depends on how bad the decay is. If it is fairly superficial, the dentist can fix it and retard the decay activity thus salvaging the tooth without any impact on her adult tooth that will be replacing it in the future.
However, if there is a very deep decay, resulting in an infection of the soft tissue and the underlying tissues of the baby tooth, there is a chance that the adult may be affected since it is lying in fairly close proximity. If this is so, removing the infection is ideally the best way to minimize any bad effects on its adult tooth.
Treatment could range from an extraction or a root canal treatment. However removing the baby tooth too early could cause higher risk of misalignment as well. Thus it is best to talk to your dentist regarding the pros and cons of each treatment.
Hope this helps!
Tooth decay is a contagious oral bacterial disease. These bacteria produce acids in the presence of sugar and these acids soften the teeth. When cavities appear in the mouth, it is a signal to paediatric dentists that the mouth is in imbalance. The amount of bacteria and the volume of acids being produced in the mouth is overwhelming — more than what the body and immune system can handle.
Although the baby tooth with the decay may have fallen out, the bacteria remains along with their acid producing ability. This creates an oral environment conducive to more decay. The adult teeth that erupt soon into this environment often fall victim to decay. Thus, it is not surprising that baby tooth decay is the biggest predictor of future adult tooth decay.
I’d like to add another point here as it may apply to many other parents who share your concern. Often, parents notice front tooth decay but because it doesn’t look “that bad”, they refrain from checking in with a dentist. More than once, I have had to deliver the bad news to parents (who came to check that 1 or 2 cavities) that there were up to 8-10 more cavities lurking in the back of the mouth.
To end off, if there’s one thing I could share with all parents, it is that there really isn’t such a thing as a “healthy amount of decay”. Do make sure you make time to schedule in a paediatric dental visit for your daughter so that you can re-establish a healthy balance in the mouth.
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