Kids & Cavities: Avoid Tooth Decay in Children

Pediatric Dentistry for Avon, Connecticut

Pediatric Dental Care in Bloomfield, CT

What are Cavities – A cavity is a permanently damaged area in the hard surface of a child's tooth that develops into very small openings or holes. Also known as tooth decay, cavities are caused by a number of factors including the buildup of bacteria in the mouth, poor teeth cleaning habits and constant snacking on foods and drinks that are high in sugar. If a cavity isn't treated it can lead to a larger cavity that affects deeper layers of the tooth. This can cause painful toothaches, infections and eventually the loss of the tooth.

Symptoms of Cavities

Kids and parents would have a very hard time identifying a cavity. Instead of asking what to look for it's better to understand what symptoms may be experienced should a cavity develop. When a cavity starts most kids won't show any signs or symptoms but over time may start to experience any of the following: persistent toothaches, tooth sensitivity, noticeable pain when eating or drinking anything hot or cold, pain in the tooth when biting down, visible holes in the tooth and pus forming around the tooth when you press on your gums.

What Causes a Cavity

Cavities are caused by a gradual progression of tooth decay. Starting with poor oral hygiene, cavities begin when bacteria starts to damage the enamel of a tooth and then moves deeper into the layers of your teeth through the formation of plaque, the wearing away of the enamel and reaching the dentin layer and finally accessing the inner layer of the tooth known as the pulp. The pulp is where nerves and blood vessels reside and when bacteria gets into this layer the pulp will become swollen and irritated. At this stage intense toothaches may develop and it becomes harder to bite down.

Treating a Cavity

The sooner a cavity is detected the easier it is to treat. Once the bacteria have broken through the enamel and dentin it can be more difficult to treat the tooth. Frequent visits to a pediatric dentist will ensure cavities are discovered before the pulp is reached. A common treatment for cavities in kids is to use fillings. In this procedure, also called restoration, a dentist will drill away the decayed part of the tooth, clean the remaining portion and fills in the gap with fillings that can be made from various materials including composite resins, porcelain or a combination of several materials. Fillings may last for years at a time but are not considered permanent fixtures and will need to be replaced. How long a filling lasts depends on how well the filling is maintained and the material that was used.

For expert care and treatment of cavities in your children, call one of our offices:

West Hartford: 860-523-4213
North Windham: 860-456-0506
Unionville: 860-673-3900

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The Kids' Dentists of CT Pediatric Dentistry   (Click their photo for more info)

David Epstein
CT Pediatric Dentist
David Epstein
A.B., D.D.S., M.S.D.

22 Jan 2022 11:47 PM