Many people get cavities in their lives, often starting in childhood. Unfortunately, some people seem to think that it doesn't matter so much if a cavity develops in a baby tooth. That baby tooth will eventually fall out on its own, after all. However, the problems that this issue can cause are potentially large. Here's why you should always take cavities seriously no matter whether they're in baby teeth or adult teeth.
Problems They Pose
Just because a baby tooth is essentially a temporary tooth doesn't mean that it won't have serious consequences without care. If your child gets a cavity, they'll need to have it filled. Without getting the tooth taken care of and drilled and filled, you could see significant problems in the future. For example, that tooth could become infected and potentially spread the infection to the gums. Once that happens, other baby teeth could be at risk of falling out too, long before they're ready.
Risk of Tooth Pull Problems
There's a big problem with letting a baby tooth be pulled because a cavity went too far. You see, baby teeth play a role in setting up adult teeth. Without them, problems can develop.
When baby teeth are moving out, they're essentially back-to-back with an adult tooth. The baby tooth holds open the gums and sort of leads the way for the adult tooth to move in exactly where the baby tooth was.
Unfortunately, if a baby tooth is lost before an adult tooth is ready to move in, the adult tooth can come in crookedly. This can push other teeth out of the way and make them crooked too. So one bad tooth can essentially lead to a need for braces later in life.
Preventing These Problems
The good news is, keeping these issues from happening to your child is as easy as going to the dentist on a regular basis. Your child's dental x-rays will often spot cavities before they become visible to the naked eye, which will allow your child to have their baby teeth treated instead of pulled. As long as the baby tooth is intact — even if it has a filling — it can still act as a guide for the adult tooth, so you won't be running as high a risk of your child having crooked teeth.
Cavities should always be taken seriously, no matter what. Don't let your child go through the discomfort and fear that can come with a cavity that's left untreated. If you suspect that your child might have one, get to a family dentist right away.