Cavities are among the most common health problems affecting children. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that over half of children between the ages of six and nineteen has had at least one cavity in a permanent tooth.
But the biggest question is, is it possible to reverse a cavity? The straight answer is no; a cavity cannot be reversed. But again, this will depend on the severity of your cavity. What does this mean? Read on to learn more.
A cavity is a hole left in the tooth caused by decay. Decay forms as a result of plaque, a bacteria-filled film left on the teeth after eating. When dental decay is not treated, it advances to form permanent holes or openings in your child’s mouth, usually referred to as dental caries or cavities.
Cavities don’t happen overnight; they develop over time. Here are the stages of tooth decay that facilitate the development of a cavity:
Demineralization is the initial stage of tooth decay. It happens when the minerals found in teeth, such as phosphorous and calcium, are lost due to an acid attack. This occurs due to increased acidity in the mouth, the consumption of acidic foods, or poor oral hygiene. Demineralization can make your child’s teeth softer and prone to tooth decay.
When the bacteria in the mouth continue to feed on the plaque, it produces acids that further break down the enamel of the teeth.
This occurs when tooth decay damages dentin (a soft tissue under the enamel). When dentin is damaged, it can cause cavities and pain.
The dental pulp is the innermost part of the tooth that hosts nerves and blood vessels. Once the pulp is exposed, bacteria in the mouth can invade it, leading to inflamed tooth pulp.
Generally, it is possible to reverse a cavity only if identified at the first stages of the demineralization phase. To do this, your baby must practice proper oral hygiene to help restore the lost minerals and prevent decay. This includes:
Sometimes, cavities cannot be prevented even with the best oral hygiene. In this case, you’ll need to seek treatment. Depending on the severity of your child’s cavity, your dentist may recommend dental fillings, crowns, a root canal, or an extraction as a last resort if the tooth can’t be saved.
If you think your child has a dental cavity, book an appointment with Dr. Michelle for a checkup and treatment. You can also call Sasco Pediatric dentistry at (203) 307-2430 to learn more about our pediatric dental services in Fairfield, CT.
We know that life can be busy, especially when it comes to taking care of little ones. If you’re looking for a quality dental home for your child in Fairfield, but don’t have time to call, just fill out the form below, and we’ll get back to you! Get in touch with us today to experience the future of pediatric dentistry.