Do Primary Cavities Affect Permanent Teeth?

young kid with toothacheAlthough cavities are highly-preventable, they remain the most widespread chronic disease among children all over the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, they affect over half of all school-aged children in the US, and cavities are four times more common than asthma in adolescents aged 14-17. With such alarming statistics, protecting your children from cavities isn’t only reasonable; it’s essential to helping them prepare for strong, healthy, permanent smiles as they enter adulthood.

Cavities Among Kids

A cavity is a hole that forms when a tooth is infected with oral bacteria. The infection, called tooth decay, can affect patients of all ages, and if left untreated, it can consume an entire tooth and spread through tissues surrounding it. Though children aren’t more likely to develop cavities than adults, the fact that their primary teeth are bound to fall out anyway can confuse some parents about proper treatment. Dr. Stewart warns that even in baby teeth, which are meant to prepare the way for a child’s permanent smile, cavities can prove highly destructive to the adult teeth growing underneath them.

What About Cavities in Baby Teeth?

Baby teeth, or primary teeth, begin developing while your child is still in the womb, although they don’t erupt until months after birth. Adult teeth grow underneath the primary set, waiting to erupt once the child’s jawbone has developed enough to accept them. As a progressive infection, tooth decay can settle into a primary tooth, and if not treated before the cavity spreads, it can affect the still-developing adult teeth under it. If your child exhibits tooth decay, then Dr. Stewart can advise you concerning the severity of the condition and an appropriate course of treatment to restore your child’s healthy smile.

Professional Cavity Protection

As an experienced pediatric dentist, Dr. James Stewart is highly-skilled at caring for children and their specific dental issues, and advises bringing your child to our office for an initial visit shortly after the first primary tooth erupts. We can help you maximize your and your child’s hygiene routines, and Dr. Stewart can recommend increased cavity protection through dental sealants and/or fluoride treatments.

About Your Livonia Children’s Dentist:

James Steward, DDS, and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (734) 425-4400.