It is tooth decay occuring in Infants and children till the age of 71months. Hence also reffered to as Early childhood caries. Upper front teeth are commonly affected.
Nursing bottle caries occur due to frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. Tooth decay can occur when the baby is put to bed with a bottle, or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a fussy baby.
It is a disease that can begin with cavity-causing bacteria being passed from the mother (or primary caregiver) to the infant. These bacteria are passed through the saliva. When the mother puts the baby’s feeding spoon in her mouth, or cleans a pacifier in her mouth, the bacteria can be passed to the baby.
If your infant or toddler does not receive an adequate amount of fluoride, they may also have an increased risk for tooth decay. At risk are children whose pacifiers are frequently dipped in sugar or syrup. Giving an infant a sugary drink at nap time or nighttime is particularly harmful because the flow of saliva decreases during sleep.
Think baby teeth are temporary, and therefore, not important? Think again. Baby teeth are necessary for chewing, speaking, and smiling. They also serve as placeholders for the adult teeth. If baby bottle tooth decay is left untreated, pain and infection can result. Severely decayed teeth may need to be removed.
If teeth are infected or lost too early due to baby bottle tooth decay, your child may develop poor eating habits, speech problems, crooked teeth, and damaged adult teeth. In addition, the chances that adult teeth will end up being crooked are greatly increased.
The good news is that a few simple steps can help stave off baby bottle tooth decay. They include implementing good oral hygiene at an early age. Here’s how:
Treatment varies based on your child’s age and the severity of the condition. At the earliest signs of a problem, you and your child’s dentist can work together to formulate an approach to management and treatment.
White spots on a tooth’s surface are early symptoms of baby bottle tooth decay. At this stage, fluoride treatment or placing fluoride varnish can be done to remineralize all of the teeth. This treatment actually reverses decay in its earliest stages by helping to rebuild the surface enamel. Your child’s dentist might also recommend fluoride supplements.
If decay is spotted at later stages, fluoride treatments will no longer be sufficient. Symptoms of more severe decay include:
If your child shows any of these symptoms, it’s imperative to see a dentist as soon as possible.
Dentist will carry out extensive restorative treatment for the affected teeth and place stainless steel crowns / remove (extract) badly decayed teeth follwed by space maintainers depending upon the severity of affected teeth.