Cavities in milk teeth or primary teeth are present in around 60% of the children in India but are more often left unattended. This is because parents have a notion that baby teeth will eventually fall off and hence they do not bother getting them treated. But this is a big misconception.
Milk teeth are the pillars for healthy and aesthetic permanent teeth.
Hence they should never be neglected.
-Baby teeth are prone to develop caries more rapidly than adult teeth/permanent teeth due to their structure and composition. Hence this caries can spread to the adjacent healthy teeth very fast leading to rampant caries. This leads to early loss of milk teeth even before the permanent teeth have erupted.
-This causes loss of space for the permanent teeth to erupt as the adjacent milk teeth migrate into the spaces of the erupting permanent teeth, leaving no room for it, and this forces the teeth to erupt in undesirable places which may require orthodontic treatment in the future.
-Moreover, premature loss of primary teeth may lead to speech disturbances and pronunciations, and nutritional deficiencies due to difficulty in chewing food.
-Hence, pulling out the baby teeth is the last option that the dentist suggests.
-In such cases, a space maintainer is placed in the extraction site to preserve that space in order to guide the erupting tooth in the proper position.
Severe decay of milk teeth can lead to spread of infection to the developing permanent tooth bud beneath the affected tooth causing damage to the permanent teeth as well.
Therefore, early treatment of decayed milk teeth should be done which may involve:
-SDF (Silver Diamide Fluoride)
-Pit and Fissure sealants
-Baby tooth root canals also known as pulpotomy and pulpectomy followed by a crown.