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Why is ignoring dental cavities in young children dangerous?

Dental health is an integral part of overall well-being, and this holds true for individuals of all ages, including young children. While cavities may seem like a common childhood issue, ignoring dental cavities in young children can have serious and long-lasting consequences.

Let's dive into some of them.


Chonic pain and discomfort: When left untreated, cavities can progress and become increasingly painful for young children. This leads to discomfort while eating/chewing, speaking, and even sleeping, ultimately affecting their quality of life. Children may also develop dental anxiety or fear of dental procedures if they associate dental visits with pain and discomfort.


Fast progression of cavities in milk teeth: Tooth decay spreads rapidly in milk teeth due to thin enamel. A small cavity may soon reach the stage of RCT (Root Canal Treatment) in kids or may even require tooth removal. The tooth can also develop abscess due to chronic infection. Dental abscesses are painful, can cause facial swelling, and, in severe cases, lead to serious health complications. Treating an abscess typically involves invasive dental procedures, including root canals or tooth extractions.


Long lifespan of milk teeth in mouth: Milk teeth take years to shed: they start exfoliating at around 6 years of age and are completely replaced by permanent teeth when the child turns 12-14 years of age. In this long span, leaving decayed milk teeth in mouth will have serious consequences on nutrition and self confidence of child. Children may avoid certain essential foods, to minimize pain while eating. This can lead to an unbalanced diet, poor nutrition, and hindered growth and development. Malnutrition in young children can have long-term consequences for their overall health and well-being.


Speech Development: The presence of cavities in young children's primary teeth can affect speech development. When teeth are damaged or lost prematurely due to cavities, it can lead to speech impediments and difficulty in articulating words correctly. This can hinder effective communication and impact a child's self-esteem and social development.


Impact on developing permanent teeth: The permanent teeth develop in close association with milk teeth and infection from decayed milk teeth can affect the permanent teeth - leading to altered path of eruption, structural defects, brownish appearance of permanent teeth and many such untoward consequences.


Need for sedation: The longer the decayed teeth are left in mouth, the more complex is the management. Often teeth require invasive procedures such as RCT/ extraction which require local anaesthesia or numbing the tooth ...something that kids are most fearful about. This often requires the Pediatric Dentists to use some form of sedation to manage the young kids and when the child is pre- cooperative, may even need to treat teeth under General Anesthesia in Operation Theatre.


Financial Implications: Dental treatment only gets more invasive, complex and expensive with time. Multiple dental visits are needed to address Early Childhood caries that can overwhelm parents and children both as well as causing financial burden to families.


To conclude, timely management of a simple, innocuous looking cavity can save your child from long lasting serious consequences. Not just that, if a child is taken to a Pediatric Dentist before a full blown dental caries , it can save them from complex procedures that can in turn have a negative impact on child's psyche. Remember , preventive dentistry is the true form of Painless dentistry and will lead to a positive dental experience for your child.

Visit your preferred Pediatric dentist today if you spot a cavity in your child's mouth! Don't delay..




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