There are two types of abscesses: periodontal and periapical. A gum abscess (also called a periodontal abscess) usually is caused by an infection in the space between the tooth and gum. The infection may occur after food gets trapped between the gum and tooth. In people with severe periodontal disease, bacteria can build up under the gum and in the bone. A tooth-related abscess (also called a periapical abscess) occurs inside the tooth. This happens when the tooth's nerve is dead or dying. This type of abscess shows up at the tip of the tooth's root. Then it spreads to the surrounding bone. Most abscesses cause pain in the mouth, so patients usually seek treatment immediately. An abscess will not go away on its own and is always considered serious because the infection may spread to other parts of the body. Call your dentist for an appointment.
Bleeding gums result from gum disease or gingivitis. The gums will look red and swollen and may bleed when one brushes or flosses. The pediatric dentist will examine your child's gums and will look for calculus deposits on the teeth and under the gum line. The dentist will then start you and your child on a program of good oral hygiene. If oral hygiene remains poor, gingivitis will likely remain. Gingivitis then may progress to periodontitis. Dr. Fishman recommends that the parent play an active role in the oral regimen until the child is 7 yrs old. Also, it is recommended that your child be seen every six months to ensure proper dental health.
Cavity (Tooth Decay):
Four things are necessary for cavities to form: 1) a tooth; 2) bacteria; 3) sugars or other carbohydrates; and 4) time. We can share with you how to make teeth strong, keep bacteria from organizing into harmful colonies, develop healthy eating habits, and understand the role that time plays. Remember dental decay is an infection of the tooth. Visiting us early can help avoid unnecessary cavities and dental treatment.
The pediatric dental community is continually doing research to develop new techniques for preventing dental decay and other forms of oral disease. Studies show that children with poor oral health have decreased school performance, poor social relationships and less success later in life. Children experiencing pain from decayed teeth are distracted and unable to concentrate on schoolwork.
If your child's baby tooth or permanent tooth gets knocked out, contact your pediatric dentist as soon as possible. Quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling if the lip also was injured. If you can find the broken tooth fragment, place it in cold milk or water and bring it with you to the dental office.
An impacted tooth is a tooth that fails to fully pass (emerge) through the gums. An impacted tooth remains stuck in gum tissue or bone possibly because the teeth are overcrowded and there is not enough room in the mouth for the new tooth to come through. Another possible reason that the tooth cannot fully pass through the gums is that it may be tilted, twisted, or displaced when the teeth emerge. The problem with an impacted tooth is that it can push on nearby teeth and may cause a misalignment of the bite.
A baby tooth usually stays in place until a permanent tooth underneath pushes it out and takes its place. Unfortunately, some children lose a baby tooth too soon. A tooth might be knocked out accidentally or removed because of dental disease. When a tooth is lost too early, your pediatric dentist may recommend a space maintainer to prevent future space loss and dental problems. If a baby tooth is lost too soon, the teeth beside it may tilt or drift into the empty space. Teeth in the other jaw may move up or down to fill the gap. When adjacent teeth shift into the empty space, they create a lack of space in the jaw for the permanent teeth. Therefore, permanent teeth are crowded and come in crooked. If left untreated, the condition may require extensive orthodontic treatment.
Most children stop sucking on thumbs, pacifiers or other objects on their own between 2 and 4 years of age. However, some children continue these habits over long periods of time. In these children, the upper front teeth may tip toward the lip or not come in properly. Frequent or intense habits over a prolonged period of time can affect the way the child's teeth bite together, as well as the growth of the jaws and bones that support the teeth. If your child is still sucking his/her thumbs or fingers when the permanent teeth arrive, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.
A number of conditions can cause discoloration of permanent teeth. For example, trauma to a baby tooth, an infection around a baby tooth, and high fevers or prolonged chronic illnesses during childhood can cause discolorations. Fluoride can also cause some white or brown discolorations of teeth when a child receives a high dose over a period of time.
The appearance of teeth can be greatly improved by a variety of treatments in esthetic dentistry. Your pediatric dentist can tell you about dental techniques that enhance your child's smile and self-confidence.