Caries In Primary And Permanent Dentition

Decay is a disease of the teeth that begins with the demineralization of tooth enamel due to the presence of bacteria on its surface. The loss of enamel is due to the fermentation of sugars by bacteria that live in the oral cavity (mainly a germ called Streptococcus mutans). Inadequate hygiene and frequent sugar consumption are important factors in the development of tooth decay.

The initial lesions of caries are small whitish spots on the tooth surface, which evolve towards the loss of dental tissue and the formation of cavities. It is generally the dentist who diagnoses that a cavity is beginning. Parents may also see incipient signs, such as a change in tooth color, loss of shine in an area, the appearance of a yellow or brown border, etc.

Once a cavity occurs, another type of bacteria appears (Lactobacillus sp.) That is responsible for invading and destroying the dentin.

What are the complications derived from this dental disease?

The complications of dental caries are not only the destruction of the tooth but the infection of the adjacent tissues:

  • Dental pulp (pulpitis).
  • Bone tissue neighboring the root of the tooth (periapical abscess).
  • More distant bone tissue (dental abscess, maxillary abscess).
  • Infections of the soft tissues of the face (facial cellulitis or periorbital cellulitis).

In the case of a caries of a temporary tooth, there is not the only destruction of this, but also an alteration in the development of the definitive tooth that is underneath.

Dental Diseases In Childhood

How Can They Be Prevented?

The main way to prevent cavities is daily hygiene. In children under 2 years of age, teeth should be cleaned with gauze or a small brush. From the age of 2, you should use a toothbrush and from the age of 3, you should add a small amount of fluoride paste. Teeth should be brushed after every meal.

The pacifier should not be offered soaked in sugar, honey, or other sugary liquids.

Unnatural juices or sugary drinks are not recommended.

At 6 years of age, it is recommended that permanent molar fissures be sealed.

In children at high risk for cavities, the dentist or pediatrician may recommend oral fluoride supplements, drops, or tablets. The risk of cavities is high in:

  • Children having salivary glands are deficient as a result of various diseases such as Sjogren’s disease, the disease Mikulicz, the radiotherapy prolonged, etc.
  • Children have a high possibility of colonization of the oral cavity with bacteria that come from another location. This can happen if they have some diseases such as gastroesophageal reflux, bulimia, or mental retardation.

Tips To Alleviate Dental Diseases In Childhood

Decay is a disease of the teeth that begins with the demineralization of tooth enamel due to the presence of bacteria on its surface. The loss of enamel is due to the fermentation of sugars by bacteria that live in the oral cavity (mainly a germ called Streptococcus mutans). Inadequate hygiene and frequent sugar consumption are important factors in the development of tooth decay.

The initial lesions of caries are small whitish spots on the tooth surface, which evolve towards the loss of dental tissue and the formation of cavities. It is generally the dentist who diagnoses that a cavity is beginning. Parents may also see incipient signs, such as a change in tooth color, loss of shine in an area, the appearance of a yellow or brown border, etc.

Once a cavity occurs, another type of bacteria appears (Lactobacillus sp.) That is responsible for invading and destroying the dentin.

Why do cavities occur?

Caries are caused by the colonization of the mouth by bacteria and by the presence of sugar that can be fermented by these bacteria.

The bacteria responsible for the appearance and development of cavities come from the mouth of other people (parents, caregivers, nursery companions …), so it is advisable to wash the pacifiers frequently, avoid that other people suck or touch them with hands and avoid kisses on the mouth of children. To prevent tooth decay, sugary sweets and soft drinks are also discouraged. It is very important to clean children’s teeth from an early age even with just water.

The main cause of massive enamel damage in children under three years of age is the use of nightly bottles of milk. Its substitution by breastfeeding or bottles of water considerably reduces the risk of developing cavities. These are usually children under 18 months who have not yet had a chance to visit the dentist.

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