Timing is everything when it comes to preventing or treating oral health concerns, especially when it comes to your child’s smile. For example, when your child develops a cavity in a tooth, the reason can often be due to infrequently timed or inconsistent dental hygiene practices, or too-frequent exposure to sugary foods and beverages. The extent of the cavity in your child’s tooth also depends on the time it’s had to develop and progress, and how much of the tooth’s structure has decayed. Today, we explain three ways in which time matters most when your child develops a cavity, and why addressing it as soon as possible is the best course of action.
1. There’s a chance to reverse it at first
The stages of a cavity are progressive, and at first, it involves the erosion of your child’s tooth enamel (the protective, highly mineralized layer that surrounds their teeth). Enamel erosion is the first stage of cavity development, though there’s a window between the enamel growing weak and the layer of minerals developing a hole (or cavity) that allows bacteria to infect the main tooth structure underneath it. If your child’s tooth enamel erosion is detected and treated early enough, we may be able to help them avoid the development of a cavity in their main tooth structure by strengthening the weakened enamel.
2. It can stay minor if treated early
Once the main part of your child’s tooth structure (called dentin) becomes infected with decay, the condition can no longer be reversed. However, the damage to the tooth and the threat to your child’s oral health can be successfully mitigated by treating the cavity in its early, minor stages. For example, we can clean the cavity in your child’s tooth to remove the harmful bacteria that have caused the decay, as well as any remaining decayed tooth structure, then fill it with a biocompatible, tooth-colored material. This will restore your child’s tooth while preventing the decay and cavity from growing more severe.
3. It could cause other problems in severe stages
Time matters most to your child’s cavity in the sense that early treatment can help prevent or mitigate the damage it can cause to your child’s tooth. Yet, once decay is in its more moderate stages, prompt treatment can take on a much more significant importance. It doesn’t take long for the decay in your child’s tooth dentin to progress into the tooth’s inner chamber, called the pulp, and the root canal that’s connected to it. Treating a cavity early can help your child avoid more severe internal tooth decay and the need for more extensive treatment, such as pulpotomy, to save the tooth.
Address your child’s cavity as soon as possible
The state of your child’s oral health can change quickly, and when a cavity develops, addressing it as soon as possible can determine the extent of your child’s dental treatment. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Pediatric Dental Care at Casa Linda in Dallas, TX today at 214-321-4880. We proudly serve patients who live around Casa Linda and all surrounding Dallas communities.