Why Treat Baby Teeth?
By Mina Levi, DDS, 07/30/2015
We all know that baby teeth (most of the time) fall out and are replaced with adult teeth eventually in our lifetimes. So, if a baby tooth gets a cavity, why not just wait until the tooth falls out instead of opting for costly dental treatment? In this week’s article, San Francisco dentist Mina Levi, DDS will discuss why it is necessary and recommended that baby teeth are treated for decay.
What happens when a baby tooth gets a cavity?
Baby teeth have thinner enamel than adult teeth, and so when a tooth gets a cavity, it can spread quickly toward the nerve and blood vessel of the tooth. As the cavity deepens at this quickened rate, painful sensitivity can develop and can turn into deep, severe pain as the pulp of the tooth becomes infected with the decay. Infected teeth can lead to abscesses that require extraction of the teeth and can sometimes cause more serious facial infections.
Why not just pull out the tooth, since it’s going to come out anyway?
When baby teeth are extracted or pulled out before they are ready, it can cause some problems. If the tooth is firmly rooted to the jaw still, the extraction would be complex and difficult, and can sometimes cause harm to the jaw bone itself and/or make it difficult for the adult teeth underneath to erupt or even form (if they have not formed fully yet). Also, when teeth are extracted early, the other teeth will shift to fill the empty space, causing difficulty for the adult teeth to erupt and increasing the probability that the child will need orthodontic treatment to correct the crowding or the teeth.
If you have questions about fillings for children or are concerned about your child’s oral health, visit San Francisco dentist Mina Levi, DDS on the web at www.minalevidds.com or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.