Bruxism (teeth grinding):
Regular teeth grinding can fracture, loosen or wear teeth down over time, requiring fillings, crowns, or even dental implants to avoid more harmful oral complications.
Poor oral hygiene can result in the overdevelopment of plaque on teeth, increasing the levels of bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria feeds on sugars in the mouth, creating acids that eat away at teeth, causing cavities. Left untreated, tooth decay can result in pain, infection, and tooth loss.
Some people may have sensitive teeth that react to various textures and temperatures. Pediatric dentists can assess the teeth to discover the cause of the sensitivity and recommend treatment with ‘de-sensitising’ products. Some children may even need fluoride treatments, tooth sealants or filling at the area where the tooth and gum meet to cover exposed dentine. In very serious cases a root-fill may be necessary.
Though there is a focus on maintaining baby teeth, at times tooth extractions are necessary. If a child has bad cavities, tooth trauma, crowding, over-retention, or severe periodontal disease it is wise to remove the affected tooth.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
When a baby’s teeth are frequently in contact with sugars from sweet liquids such as breast milk, bacteria is provided an excellent breeding crowd. Babies who breastfeed into maturity and frequently fall asleep during or after a feeding may experience tooth decay as bacteria feeds on sugars from the milk.
Over-Retained Primary Teeth
Primary teeth, also known as baby teeth, create a path through which permanent teeth can emerge. “Over-retained teeth” refer to those primary teeth that have yet to fall out, delaying the emergence of permanent teeth. If not properly treated, children may develop periodontal problems, dental caries and may shift adjacent permanent teeth.
Pacifier and Thumb Sucking
Prolonged thumb and pacifier sucking may hinder the development of the mouth and impact the alignment of teeth. If children continue these habits past the age of two, it can be helpful to consult with a pediatric dentist who can work with their young patients to break them of these habits.
Baby Tooth Nerve
Maintenance of baby teeth is essential to the proper development of permanent teeth. If a tooth is lost too early, adjacent teeth may move into the permanent space, resulting in crooked or crowded teeth. Endodontic treatment can be done to save a decayed tooth, but in severe cases the tooth will be removed and a tooth spacer will be inserted.
Halitosis (chronic bad breath)
Not all bad breath is a serious issue. Oftentimes bad breath will go away once a child develops better oral hygiene. In some cases, however, a child may have halitosis and may require assessment by a pediatric dentist to determine treatment.
Early tooth loss
Early loss of baby teeth due to tooth decay, injury, or other concerns noted above can impact the growth and development of permanent teeth. Nearby teeth can tip or shift or a permanent tooth may have insufficient room when it attempts to emerge into its space. Crooked teeth can cause a number of problems from interfering with proper chewing to causing temporomandibular joint problems. A space maintainer may be recommended to keep the space open for future teeth.
Periodontal Disease (gum disease)
Bacteria and plaque buildup can result in problems that affect more than just the tooth. In the case of periodontal disease, bacteria attacks the gums and surrounding tissues. Left untreated, the disease will continue and may affect the underlying bones and weaken the tooth. In some cases, the tooth may fall out.
Facial growth and development issues
Though mouth breathing in children may appear harmless, this habit can literally alter a child’s facial development. Children who frequently breathe through their mouth may develop long face syndrome; this occurs when the face grows vertically rather than horizontally. Such children are also more likely to develop long, thin faces, thin mouths, high palate, crooked teeth, exposure of gums when smiling, narrow dental arches, blocked airways and a host of other issues.
Small sores on the inside of the mouth or on the tongue, canker sores can be quite painful. These sores may be triggered by stress or fatigue, or by nervous habits such as chewing the inside of the mouth. A pediatric dentist can aid in providing treatment for the symptoms and in tackling the causes
This refers to the habit of thrusting the top of the tongue forward against the lips, exerting pressure against the front teeth and potentially pushing them out of alignment. Tongue thrusting can cause an overbite and interfere with proper speech development.