Dental caries of deciduous teeth has become an urgent problem for both parents and pediatric dentists. Children under two years of age suffer from this pathological process more and more frequently. Nowadays 80% of preschool age children have at least one affected tooth. Dental caries of deciduous teeth is a progressive pathological process of dental tissues which leads to gradual destruction of enamel and damage of the internal tissues. Tooth decay begins as a superficial lesion of the tooth enamel. However, if no appropriate treatment is administered, the decay may provoke development of a deep cavity inside the tooth, penetrate into its tissues and cause inflammatory process. Dental carries mostly affects the teeth that perform the masticatory function, namely the upper milk incisors.
The main cause of occurrence and development of tooth decay in children is the structural damage of dental tissues. If a pregnant woman suffered from such illnesses as rheumatism, hypertension, different infections and virus attacks as well as various disorders of the endocrine system or severe forms of toxicosis, her child may be predisposed to dental caries development after birth. Other factors that provoke dental caries of deciduous teeth development include smoking and different medications usage during pregnancy. The fundamental causes of tooth decay are:
Photo 1. Deciduous tooth decay.
Dental caries of deciduous teeth have several stages of its development. That is why when any pathology appears on the tooth enamel of the child, like dental plaque or white and brown spots which cannot be brushed away, the child needs to be examined by a pediatric dentist. The principal symptom of early dental caries is the child’s complaints about different unpleasant feelings while eating. It is quite possible that tooth decay has already reached the dental tissues. That is why parents should pay attention to such complaints to provide the child with reasonable aid. If the child chews food using only teeth on one side may be an indicator of toothache. The first symptoms of dental caries of deciduous teeth must provoke prompt reaction of the parents as this process may develop very rapidly affecting several teeth simultaneously.
Photo 2. Tooth decay.
Very often parents do not know whether dental caries of their children’s deciduous teeth should be treated or not. The fact is that dental caries which is not managed may cause lots of serious complications. The enamel of deciduous teeth is much thinner than of permanent ones. That is why untreated dental caries in children may result in the destruction of deep tissues of the carious tooth and provoke the onset of periodontitis and pulpitis as deciduous teeth are more susceptible to negative influence of the pathogenic microflora. Modern medicine offers a great variety of different alternative means of dental caries of deciduous teeth treatment. The carious cavity has to be processed with the help of special chemical substances and manual tools. Lately laser dental treatment units have been designed to treat tooth decay of deciduous teeth. Unfortunately, any of the alternative methods of dental caries treatment does not yield so effective results as the usage of time-tested dental drilling machines. In the process of tooth decay management the carious tooth is cleaned from demineralized and softened tissues which are infected by bacteria, then sterilized and filled. Thus, the treated deciduous tooth will be functional until it is replaced by the permanent one. However, the decision whether to extract or treat the affected deciduous tooth must be made by a qualified pediatric dentist who will choose the best variant in a definite situation on the basis of his/her professional experience.
Photo 3. Professional treatment of caries..
Measures to prevent tooth decay must be applied as soon as the first deciduous teeth erupt. It is recommended to start brushing teeth using kid’s tooth paste from the first year of age. This is the main method of dental caries prophylaxis. Well-balanced nutrition also plays a significant role in tooth decay prevention. Children should consume sufficient amount of minerals and vitamins as well as carbohydrates, fats and proteins necessary for proper elaboration and development of dental tissues. Breastfeeding is an important aspect of dental caries prevention. Older children have to consume fluorine salt and water as well as calcium-containing products. Regular dental examinations of deciduous teeth will help to protect deciduous teeth from tooth decay.
Photo 4. Сaries prevention starts in childhood..