Childhood, when permanent (“adult”) teeth began to grow, is the best time to teach youngsters good oral hygiene habits and how to make wise nutritional choices. By learning how to prevent compromising the enamel, the hard substance that covers teeth, children can minimize and perhaps prevent the dental problems that plague many adults.
To this day, there is disagreement in the dental community about the precise cause of tooth decay. The most widely accepted theory is that decay is a local phenomenon (contained to the area of the mouth), caused when mouth bacteria consume sugar and excrete acid, which begins to decay enamel. Some studies have demonstrated that certain foods, medical conditions, and bacteria can initiate decay; other studies assert that, although those factors may start the decay process, they do not contribute the formation of cavities.
Pediatric tooth decay is on the rise. Some research suggests that systemic causes—including radiation exposure, hormonal abnormalities, and foreign proteins in food—are to blame. Hypomineralization, caused mainly by a diet inadequate in minerals, increases a child’s susceptibility to decay. The systemic theory of decay suggests that other factors become relevant only after hypomineralization has begun.
Tooth decay in children falls into distinct categories:
- Baby teeth versus adult teeth
- Anterior (front) vs. posterior (back) tooth patterns
- Contra-lateral tooth patterns
- Decay clustering
- Post-eruption susceptibility
The Center for Systemic Dentistry works to address pediatric dental problems at the earliest stages, remedying the problem and preventing further dental or systemic damage later in your child’s life. Located in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, we are committed to being the state’s leading dental practice that focuses on holistic, healing-focused dentistry. Dr. Philip Memoli and his staff are ready to repair the damage caused by childhood dental problems and ensure that our pediatric patients are committed to maintaining healthy teeth as they grow. Call us today at (908) 464-9144 or contact us via our online contact form.