Tooth decay (caries) is a preventable disease. While it might not endanger a child’s life, it may negatively affect his or her quality of life. If not promptly addressed, it could result to other problems such as bad breath and weight loss. Even the permanent teeth can get affected by untreated tooth decay.
Gum disease begins with plaque (film of bacteria on the teeth), develops into gingivitis (swollen and bleeding gums), and if not treated, may progress to periodontitis (loose teeth). However, it is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by proper daily brushing and flossing. Although periodontitis is not so common in children, it can still occur and knowing the causative factors can help prevent this in your child.
Bad breath may sometimes be just temporary due to eating certain foods and can just be addressed by prompt brushing and flossing. However, if it persists, bad breath could be a sign of another oral problem such as gum disease or tooth decay. This needs to be addressed since it could have negative effects not only on your child’s health but also on his or her self–esteem.
Canker sores, also called apthous ulcers, are small, painful sores inside the mouth. They typically have a white base with a red border, may occur on your child's tongue, inside the cheeks or lips, and on the floor of the mouth. They need to be checked by a dental or medical practitioner as they could sometimes be a symptom of another ailment.
A malocclusion or a bite that does not meet properly may be inherited or may be caused by missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth or misaligned jaws. It can also develop because of prolonged oral habits such thumb– or finger–sucking and tongue–thrusting.