Both adults and children can acquire dental infections, some more common than others. Dental caries, also known as cavities, is the most common type of dental infection. Tooth decay typically develops in response to inadequate brushing and flossing or a high-sugar diet. However, foods and drinks do not have to contain sugar directly to cause long-lasting damage to oral health.
Many parents are surprised to learn that carbohydrates break down into sugar in the body and can have the same devastating effect on primary or permanent teeth as sugar in its pure form. Eating too many high-carbohydrate foods like bread, rice, or chips increases the likelihood of tooth decay and can set the stage for a later diabetes diagnosis.
How We Treat Tooth Decay at Big Grins Pediatric Dentistry
Sugar breaks down into plaque and bacteria that eat away at the enamel of a tooth, which eventually causes a small hole to develop. Left untreated, tooth decay can lead to significant oral pain or even premature loss of a baby tooth or permanent loss of an adult tooth. Our dentists treat this problem by removing the decayed part of the tooth and replacing it with a filling material made from mercury or another material.
Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease
A common misconception among parents is that children do not develop gingivitis or periodontal disease. While this is not true, the good news is that most children with this problem have the mildest form of gum disease known as gingivitis.
Gingivitis is an infection in the gums that develops when bacteria grow unchecked along the gumline. Bacterial growth causes symptoms such as bleeding gums, swelling, and inflammation. Since regular brushing and flossing is the best defense against gum disease, parents need to be mindful about teaching their children good oral health habits as early as possible and modeling positive behavior themselves.
Although far less common in children than adults, periodontal disease can develop when bacteria move below the gumline and spread to bones and the tissues that support them. Gums begin to separate from the teeth, causing additional loss of bone and inflammation. Early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease and other dental infections in Fort Collins, CO is key to beating gum disease.
Mouth sores and ulcers are most common in children one to three years old, and they typically develop due to direct contact or oral secretions. Children who have direct contact with an infected person usually start developing symptoms within seven days. The clinical name of this condition is herpes gingivostomatitis.
Since most children this age are pre-verbal, parents should look for signs of infection such as fever, irritability, and fatigue. Our dentists typically recommend home remedies like giving the child popsicles and avoiding spicy food. If that fails to work, we encourage parents to return to Big Grins Pediatric Dentistry to discuss additional treatment options.
Seek Immediate Help for Dental Infections in Fort Collins, CO
The above are just three examples of oral infections in children. We urge parents to request an appointment with our pediatric dental practice if they feel concerned about any type of potential oral infection.