Who’s heart couldn’t melt at the sight of a smiling baby? Their feather-soft skin, tiny feet and hands, and oh, that beautiful smile is enough to make you want to cuddle it all day. But did you know that feeding your baby can cause brand-new teeth to rot? This type of dental disaster is all too common.
Known as Caries, Nursing Caries, Nursing Bottle Caries, or Early Childhood Caries, it happens when baby doesn’t swallow all of the milk in their mouths and nod off to sleep.
Excerpt from WebMD
Baby bottle tooth decay (also called early childhood caries, nursing caries, and nursing bottle syndrome) happens when a baby's teeth are in frequent contact with sugars from drinks, such as fruit juices, milk, formula, fruit juice diluted with water, sugar water, or any other sweet drink. If breastfed infants fall asleep with unswallowed milk in their mouth, they are also at risk for tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugars, causing tooth decay.
Some moms and dads do well to pay attention to these kinds of things, while others have no clue that anything cautionary is happening. Obviously, Deciduous (milk baby teeth) begin forming in the embryonic stage and begin to erupt beginning at approximately every 6 weeks from the first tooth (at approximately 6 months). By the time the first birthday comes around your baby could have a need for crowns until the secondary permanent teeth replace the primaries.
In the photo above it is clearly noticeable that nor only are some of the secondary finding their way through to eruption, but notice the front primary teeth that have completely decayed, and will require extraction in order for the permanent teeth to come through.
Note this excerpt from Science Direct regarding the formation and composition of primary teeth.
The primary teeth have the same basic structure as the permanent teeth, i.e., enamel, dentine, cementum, and pulpal (nerve) tissue. However, the overall morphology of a primary tooth does differ somewhat from the permanent successor. The major difference lies in the crown, particularly of the primary molars, which are more bulbous. The bulbosity is most pronounced on the first primary molar in the lower jaw, or mandible.
The roots of the primary teeth are shorter, smaller, and, in the molar, more curved than the permanent successors. There is therefore less dentine in a primary tooth. As the enamel is also thinner than in permanent teeth, so dental caries progresses through to the nerve faster in primary teeth. Furthermore, as the nerves or pulps of the primary teeth are relatively larger and more prominent, so the risk of abscess, as a result of caries penetrating through to the pulp is that much greater.
For tips on how to avoid poor dental health in children go here.
Aging Teeth and Gums
The natural aging process creates some concerns regardless of how well a patient might perform home care on their teeth, gums and overall health. Receding gums is often from a lifetime of brushing incorrectly, or using the wrong type of toothbrush. Another issue leading to receding gums is an excessive length of dental care visits to remove plaque buildup, and long-term lack of flossing. The pockets between teeth hold food particles which in-turn causes gum infection. Prolonged avoidance of dental care can create the need for a procedure referred to as debridement (removal of necrotic or infected tissue).
It’s one thing to lose one’s teeth to auto accidents, sports injuries, assault or other painful injuries to the teeth and face, but it’s clearly another when it comes to neglect. Things that take a very heavy toll are periodontitis (gum infection), oral cancer, and chronic TMJ. Others include the resulting bone loss due to missing teeth. Poor oral hygiene being the main culprit.
One of the issues adults experience is dry mouth, exacerbating bacteria growth which can lead to gingivitis and tooth decay. One of the things that you can do is after eating, rinse your mouth well with water to help back down the sugars found in food; carbohydrates, fruits, snacks, processed foods.
One of the myths of oral health of which the public is largely unaware is missing side teeth are okay left on their own if they don’t show. What people who have that myth as truth in their belief system don’t realize the loss of bone that dissipates when there is not tooth root to support. The remaining teeth shift and can become loose in the process as well.
Dental implants resolve that issue, maintaining the jawbone and its ability to keep existing teeth in place and strong. Whether it be a single tooth that requires an implant or a mouthful of teeth that can be fitted with both upper and lower arches. Dental implants resolve several concerns such as shifting teeth, gaps in the gums between teeth to trap food, lessens the risk of gum infection, better bite and chew mechanisms, and bone loss.
There’s no telling what has happened that created these dental disasters, but modern-day dentistry is efficient, manageable, and pain-free during the procedure. Of course there will be post-sedation and numbing discomfort, but that too can easily be managed.
From babies and caries to plaque buildup to missing and decayed teeth and implants, there is a lot to consider when maintaining good oral health.
Should you have any concerns at present that require a professional to examine your teeth and gums do not hesitate to book an appointment with a dental professional near you. The tooth you save may be your own.
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