Being able to tell if your child has a cavity can be helpful. The sooner you suspect that there's a problem, the sooner your child can receive treatment from a dentist. While some signs are obvious, some aren't so clear. Here's what you should know about detecting a potential cavity.
There are some instances where parents can clearly tell that children have a cavity. This is usually limited to when a tooth has a visible hole in it. Cavities are, at their most basic form, a hole that forms in the wall of a tooth courtesy of bacteria gradually wearing down the enamel and bone that form the tooth. These holes usually start out quite small but are sometimes more visible when they appear dark or black.
If your child has what looks like a hole in their tooth, no matter how small, you should get help from a dentist right away. Whether it's a cavity or another kind of damage to the tooth, getting help sooner will make treatment easier on your child and will ensure that as little damage is done to the tooth as possible before they reach dental aid.
There are other signs that your child might have a cavity, but they could also mean that your child could have a different oral health problem. For example, general pain in a tooth could mean there's a cavity. When a cavity becomes deep enough to impact the nerves, this can be the result. However, other things, like injuries and gum disease, can also cause pain in teeth.
It's also important to remember that even baby teeth can have cavities. However, determining if a baby tooth has a cavity can be a little more difficult, as sometimes baby teeth hurt simply because they're starting to fall out. If in doubt, consult with a dentist.
The reality of the situation here is that a dentist is best equipped at discovering and identifying cavities. While you can certainly be of help by looking at your child's teeth at home, there are nooks and crannies that the average person simply can't see without professional-grade dental equipment. In addition, there are smaller signs that are hard to recognize without training, like the visible wearing of dental enamel that typically precedes a cavity. In addition, dentists can use dental x-rays to discover cavities that have just barely started, letting them treat them before they become a big problem.
Visit a family dentist to learn more.