Even if you do your best to cut back on sweets, encourage brushing, and take them for regular visits to Tiny Tooth Pediatric Dentistry, your child could still develop a cavity. Cavities are extremely common in kids of all ages. 42% of kids between the ages of 2-11 have had a cavity in a baby tooth, and 21% of kids between the ages of 6-11 have had a cavity in an adult tooth.
But how do you know if your child has a cavity? Beyond coming to our office for routine six-month visits with Dr. Kim, there are a few signs you can look out for to recognize tooth decay early.
1. Tooth Sensitivity To Heat, Cold, Sweets, And Pressure
Tooth decay causes the outer layer of durable enamel to thin and weaken. This can make your child’s tooth more sensitive. They may feel uncomfortable when consuming really hot or cold foods and drinks.
Sugary foods can also cause sensitivity, or the tooth may feel sensitive when they chew hard or tough foods. No matter the cause, tooth sensitivity could indicate a cavity, so it’s a good idea to take your child to Dr. Kim for a checkup in Columbia.
2. White Spots Or Discoloration On Their Teeth
The first stage of decay is sometimes called “soft spots.” As your child’s enamel weakens, you may start to see white spots in their tooth enamel. If you notice these on one or more teeth, you should get help right away. Dr. Kim may be able to prevent further decay with treatments like fluoride treatments and dental sealants.
In cases of more advanced tooth decay, you may also see dark brown, gray, or black discolorations on your child’s tooth. This is not normal, and indicates a cavity that will need treatment with a dental filling, silver diamine fluoride, or another such treatment.
3. Gum Swelling Or Discoloration Near One Tooth
As bacteria collect in a tooth and cause decay, this can also cause the gum near the tooth to swell up and become inflamed. If you notice some gum swelling near one of your child’s teeth, or the area near the tooth looks red or discolored, this could be a sign of tooth decay.
4. Visible Deep Pits Or Holes in The Tooth
If your child has a large cavity, you may be able to see visible holes or pits in the tooth. These are not always easy to spot. But if the cavity is large, you may be able to see the opening in the tooth, as well as discolored enamel near the cavity.
5. A Toothache That Won’t Go Away And Gets Worse
If your child has a toothache that gets worse over the period of a day or two, this could indicate a very deep cavity, or even a tooth infection. Tooth infections happen when a cavity eats through the hard outer layers of your child’s tooth, and the vulnerable “pulp” inside the tooth becomes infected.
If your child is complaining of serious tooth pain, don’t wait. Come to Tiny Tooth Pediatric Dentistry right away for treatment. The sooner Dr. Kim can treat their tooth infection, the better the chance is that she will be able to treat and save their tooth.
Worried About Cavities In Columbia, MD? Come To Tiny Tooth Pediatric Dentistry
Whether you think your child has a cavity or you just need a pediatric dentist for regular checkups in Columbia, Dr. Su Kim is here to help. The team at Tiny Tooth Pediatric Dentistry focuses on restoring decayed teeth, and providing kids and parents with the resources they need to prevent cavities in the future.
We’re always accepting new patients, so don’t wait. Contact us online or give us a call at (443) 812-8027. We’d be happy to meet you and your little one, and provide you with the pediatric dental care you need in Columbia, MD.