Children have a higher risk for oral health diseases because of diet, oral hygiene and several other factors. When you think of common diseases in the U.S., you probably don’t think of cavities. However, cavities are actually considered a disease, and they go by the term of “tooth decay”. This disease is incredibly common in children and people of all age groups. Not only are they susceptible to tooth decay, but they can easily be affected by other oral health diseases at a young age. Use these tips to help your child avoid oral health diseases!
When it comes to common oral health diseases in children, there are three that are of primary concern. First, cavities (tooth decay); second, gum (periodontal) disease; and, third, oral cancer, according to the CDC.
Tooth decay affects over 3 million people. Tooth decay is a softening of your tooth enamel. It involves damage (sometimes permanent) to the structure of the tooth. This is most often caused by acids that form when plaque bacteria break down sugar in your mouth. When the loss of mineral from the enamel is left untreated, a cavity, or hole in the tooth, can result.
While the signs and symptoms of cavities differ from one case to another, some symptoms are commonly found. Sometimes when a cavity is still small, symptoms may not appear at all. As the decay grows, it can trigger signs and symptoms such as:
Gum disease starts with bacterial growth in your mouth and can result in tooth loss due to damage of the tissue that surrounds your teeth. Gum disease has also been linked to heart disease.
Oral cancer refers to any cancer inside the mouth. Tobacco use is often a root cause. Also is heavy alcohol use and the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
There is a reason that we talk so much about the importance of good oral hygiene and oral health. Tooth decay leads to pain and sometimes infection. Tooth decay has been shown to even affect children’s growth. Early childhood tooth decay in baby teeth can have negatively impact your child’s nutrition, speech, and jaw development.
Also, neglecting oral hygiene can cause dental cavities and gum disease. And, has also been linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Taking the time for healthy teeth and gums is a lifestyle worth adapting. Teach your children while they are young of the importance. Establishing strong foundations in oral hygiene can help prevent oral health diseases in children.
The CDC offers some helpful guidelines for oral wellness so oral health diseases in children can be avoided. Here is what research has shown is most important for safeguarding oral health:
Dr. Botero and her friendly team at Li’l Sunshine Smiles Dentistry are ready to help you learn how you can prevent oral health diseases in children. We are dedicated to helping you build healthy associations with children and oral health. Call us at today at 813-576-0200 for a consulation.