By age five, about 60% of American children have one or more cavities. Though common, without prompt diagnosis and treatment, cavities can lead to more serious oral health problems, negatively affecting your child’s ability to eat and speak. At Parrish Children’s Dentistry in Parrish, Florida, expert dentist Patricia Schnur, DMD, provides safe, effective treatments for cavities in children and teenagers. To schedule an appointment for your child, call the office or book a consultation online today.
Cavities are a type of tooth decay that causes holes and pits to form in the enamel, the protective outer surface of your child’s teeth. Anyone can experience a cavity, but they’re especially common in children and teenagers.
At Parrish Children’s Dentistry, Dr. Schnur treats all three types of cavities, including:
Smooth surface cavities appear on the outside, flat surfaces of your child’s teeth. They occur when you fail to remove plaque and harmful bacteria through regular brushing and flossing. Smooth surface cavities develop slowly over an extended period. When caught early, they’re possible to treat.
Pit and fissure cavities appear on the bumpy surfaces on top of your child’s teeth. They form deep grooves or holes and usually affect the molars and premolars, located at the back of your child’s mouth. Like smooth surface cavities, pit and fissure cavities form slowly and occur due to poor oral hygiene or bad habits like drinking soda and eating sweets.
Root cavities affect the roots of your child’s teeth and occur beneath the gum line. These cavities form when the bacteria in your child’s mouth produce acid. Over time, the acid eats away at your child’s tooth root, causing pain and inflammation.
To diagnose a cavity, Dr. Schnur conducts a comprehensive oral exam, reviews your child’s medical history, and asks you about their symptoms and lifestyle, including the types of foods they eat and if they brush and floss regularly. She also takes a series of oral X-rays to get a closer look at your child’s jawbones and tooth roots.
Treatment of cavities depends on the severity of the infection and its location in your child’s mouth. If your child has a minor smooth surface or pit and fissure cavity, Dr. Schnur might recommend dental sealants, fillings, or a dental crown.
If your child has a severe root cavity or a pit and fissure cavity, an extraction may be necessary. Ultimately, the goal of cavity treatment is to prevent further damage, limit pain, and restore your child’s chewing and biting abilities.
To further explore the treatment options for cavities, schedule an appointment for your child at Parrish Children’s Dentistry. Call the office and speak with a friendly staff member, or book a consultation online today.