Children can get dental disease, such as cavities and gum disease which can cause significant discomfort. Children with dental disease may have trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating and suffer emotional distress.
Tooth decay (cavities) is the most chronic childhood disease. Young children are more at risk of cavities because the enamel or outer surface of baby teeth is thinner, offering less protection. Cavities can start to develop as soon as the first tooth appears. If not addressed early, cavities can lead to pain, infection and tooth loss. Learn more about why baby teeth are important .
If you notice white or brown spots on your child's teeth, call your dentist for an appointment right away. These spots could indicate the start of a cavity.
If your child is past teething and complains of a toothache or seems to be in pain when eating or having their teeth brushed, you should also see a dentist as soon as possible.
Gum disease does occur frequently in children. In fact, most children have some degree of gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease. This may cause tenderness or bleeding of the gums. Speak to your dentist if you notice your child's gums are red, swollen or if they consistently bleed when brushing or flossing.