Does Your Child Have A Cavity In A Baby Tooth? Three Questions To Ask About It

26 July 2017
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Did a trip to the dentist recently reveal that child has a cavity?  You might not know how you should handle it at first, especially when the cavity may be in one of their baby teeth.  Here are some questions you should about the cavity so you can decide what to do about it.

How Large Is the Child's Cavity?

Ask your dentist how large your child's cavity is before you have it filled.  Dentists can have different opinions about how to treat cavities, and you might be surprised to learn it's not always best to drill out the decay and put a filling in its place.

A dentist may be able to take steps that will reverse the decay that is happening in the tooth, but it is only possible if decay has affected just the enamel.  A dentist may recommend the use of fluoride to build the enamel back up and give the tooth additional protection.  

Unfortunately, dentin will not be able to heal itself if the decay as gotten past the enamel.  Your dentist may be able to slow down the decay once it reaches the dentin, with the goal to slow down the decay long enough so that the baby tooth naturally falls out.  The child won't need a filling, and their adult tooth won't be affected.   

How Close Is the Baby Tooth from Coming Out?

Find out what tooth is affected with a cavity, and if it looks like it is close to coming out.   If the problematic tooth seems like it is close to naturally coming out, it may be best to leave the tooth alone and let nature take its course. 

However, if x-rays show that the tooth is not close to coming out then it may be best to fill the cavity.  There is a risk that the cavity gets worse and starts causing your child a lot of pain.

Does The Tooth Cause Pain?

Molars can be some of the most problematic teeth to have a cavity in. They see a lot of use from chewing, and the added pressure can be a reason that the tooth feels more painful than others.  If the tooth hurts, you child may avoid eating on a certain side of their mouth and cause problems with their jaw.  Tooth pain can also cause speech issues if it changes how a child talks. 

When you're not sure what to do, speak to a dentist, like Northwest Dental Services and Implant Center,
for tips on how to treat a cavity in a baby tooth.