Before starting today's topic, I would like to ask a question: If you find that your child's deciduous tooth is decayed, do you wait for the tooth to be replaced, or will you take him to fill the tooth?
Data from the National Health Commission shows that the answer for the vast majority of moms and dads is the former: waiting for a tooth replacement. Among 5-year-old children in my country, the rate of decayed deciduous teeth is as high as 70.9%, but only 4.1% receive treatment.
Is it really okay if my baby tooth is decayed? This is actually a dangerous idea. The tooth does not heal slowly on its own like bones. If you leave it alone, it will only get deeper and deeper.
Children will not only have toothaches and refuse to eat. What's worse, after a baby tooth decays, it may also damage the surrounding baby teeth, and even the development and eruption of permanent teeth will be affected later.
This is the tooth of a 4-year-old child, with decayed deciduous teeth
Before understanding the development process of tooth decay, let's get to know the teeth first.
Teeth are mainly composed of three parts. The outermost white layer, called "enamel", is mainly composed of calcium, phosphorus and other inorganic substances. It is the hardest tissue in the human body, and its hardness is comparable to crystal.
The inner layer is "dentin". There are many thin tubules on it, called "dentin tubules". It is a bit like a pipe buried in the wall during decoration, which can reach the innermost part of the tooth-the pulp, which is We often say "dental nerve".
The dental pulp is full of nerves, blood vessels, etc., and the outside world can be felt through the dentin tubules. When we eat very cold, very hot or other irritating foods, the pulp will feel. Especially at the junction of teeth and gums, the enamel is thinner and the feeling will be more obvious.
A healthy tooth becomes a tooth decay, which is destroyed step by step from the outside to the inside from the tooth enamel, dentin, and dental pulp.
The first stage: Demineralization-tooth enamel defect
The first thing that appears is the shedding stage of tooth enamel. There is a professional term in medicine called "demineralization".
There are many bacteria that cause tooth decay in the oral cavity, which we collectively refer to as "cariogenic bacteria" here. Cariogenic bacteria use the food left on the teeth to ferment and produce acidic substances.
The first thing that acidic substances corrode is the outermost tooth enamel, allowing it to shed a little bit of calcium and phosphorus and reduce the hardness. This is "demineralization."
Tooth enamel begins to be defective
Originally, calcium and phosphorus in saliva will continue to be deposited on the teeth and undergo "remineralization", which is a balanced process.
However, if the child's oral hygiene habits are not good, such as not gargle or brushing teeth after eating, it will cause cariogenic bacteria to produce more acid, or the acid will stay on the teeth for a longer time, and the speed of demineralization It is faster than remineralization, and this balance is broken. As a result, white or yellow spots appear on the surface of the tooth, which is rough to the touch.
The second stage: dental caries-destruction of tooth enamel and dentin
When the tooth demineralizes to a certain extent, it will enter the caries stage. Tooth decay is also divided into different degrees. The lighter ones only destroy the enamel or the superficial dentin, and the more serious ones will destroy the deep dentin, which is very close to the pulp.
Mild caries decay to tooth enamel, and deep caries decay to dentin
In the dental caries stage, black holes appear on the surface of the child's teeth, which look pitted. If you use a toothpick to slide a few times on the black hole, you will find that you cannot slide it freely.
This is already a serious caries
The third stage: pulp inflammation-destruction of the pulp
If it continues to corrode, the tooth decay will rot to the pulp, which will cause pulp inflammation, which is what we often call "dental nerve inflammation".
As mentioned earlier, there are many nerves in the dental pulp. When food is stuffed into the cavity and pressed against the dental pulp, the child will feel pain and is unwilling to chew the food.
Already decayed to the pulp
If the inflammation continues to reach the root of the tooth, it will puncture the gums and press against the child's lips or cheeks, causing ulcers and erosions, and even inflammation and purulentness, causing the entire face to swell.
The roots on the left and right sides are already purulent
At this time, it is not possible to fix it, but to cut or remove the pulp. Not only the treatment time and procedures are more complicated, you have to run several times before and after, and even the cost of fillings has increased from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.
If the inflamed tooth root is left alone, it will also affect the eruption and growth of permanent teeth.
Because permanent tooth germs are hidden under the roots of deciduous teeth, long-term living in an environment with inflammation and pus will affect the development of permanent teeth, such as dysplasia of permanent enamel and ectopic eruption of permanent teeth. This is like the soil of the seed is broken, and the growth of the plant will naturally be affected.
You see, if a tooth decay is not treated in time, it will become scarred little by little from demineralization, dental caries to pulp inflammation.
Not only that, the food residue remaining in the tooth decay will promote the growth and reproduction of cariogenic bacteria, which may slowly spread and involve surrounding teeth.
Therefore, if you find a small black hole in your child's teeth, you must deal with it as soon as possible. Usually also need to help children develop good oral hygiene habits:
Eat less sugary snacks and beverages;
Brush your teeth in the morning and evening, especially for children before 6 years old, who need parents to help you brush;
Take your child to visit the dentist every 3 to 6 months to find potential dental problems as early as possible.
The best time to plant a tree is ten years ago, followed by now. Children’s oral problems should never be underestimated. Love children, from now on, pay attention to children's oral health.
Now, let the child open his mouth and take a good look at his teeth to see if there are any small black holes. We can talk about it in the message area!