Symptoms of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
One of the more common forms of dental caries experienced by newborns and infants is baby bottle tooth decay, caused by the prolonged, sustained exposure of a baby’s teeth to acidic drinks which contain large amounts of sugar. These drinks can be drinks like juices from sodas or drinks containing fruit juice. It is also possible to develop cavities while a baby is bottle fed, however, because babies have not yet developed the skills to suck their teething food completely out of their mouth. A baby will refuse food and will cry for longer periods of time before finishing a drink, making it more likely that acidic foods will continue to erode into the enamel on the baby’s teeth. Although this type of tooth decay is reversible, it is important for parents to know if their child is experiencing the same because if they notice any changes, it is important to get the tooth taken care of right away in order to prevent further damage.
The most obvious symptom of baby bottle tooth decay is a bright red lump near the edge of the tooth. This is called a pit. However, this does not always mean there is damage to the tooth; sometimes a pit will just be filled with a sweet liquid and the surrounding area will appear healthy. However, if the pit continues to develop with whitish tissue it is time to take action. Other symptoms of early childhood caries include a foul smell coming from the pit, the surface of the tooth becoming soft, and bleeding from the gums.
In addition to using baby bottle tooth decay remedies such as the baby washcloth and the sweetened apple cider vinegar there are other things parents can do. First, it is important to clean the mouth of any leftover acidic foods by using a good oral hygiene product such as the baby brush or an oral irrigator. It is important to rinse the mouth well after brushing because the acids in the mouth can spread to other parts of the body through washing. After rinsing, parents should dry the mouth with a clean gauze pad.
For babies, good oral hygiene is important even before they begin to show signs of tooth decay. A baby should be encouraged to brush at least twice a day, but preferably three times a day. If a baby does not have a strong enough toothbrush use a baby brush with a wider head to cover more of the teeth at once. Baby flossing is also a good way to avoid early childhood caries.
The cause of baby bottle tooth decay is usually sugar. Babies suck on sugary food or formula drinks while awake and then later eat dry sugary food or the sugary stuff in formula drinks. When a baby drinks a sugary drink after sleeping, the sugar in the drink travels up the esophagus and attaches itself to the upper teeth. As the teeth become worn down, the sugar breaks down the enamel, causing it to decay. It’s important to rinsing the mouth thoroughly with water after feeding a baby.
Dentists can diagnose baby bottle tooth decay by looking for white spots on the teeth. These white spots may look like small pimples, and your dentist will be able to tell if they are indeed white spots on the teeth. These white spots are a sign of tooth decay and can be treated accordingly. In severe cases, the dentist may have to perform scaling and root planing. Baby tooth grinding can also be a sign of tooth decay.