Watch Out: Your Child Can Have the Following Dental Problems


Children are not immune from many of the same dental health problems that adults can have.  Just because a child will eventually loose his or her baby teeth doesn’t mean keeping their smile healthy is any less important!

The following dental problems are issues that almost any child of any age can have.  This is why it’s so important to ensure your child becomes acquainted with dental care early in their life.

It’s important to know your child is susceptible to the following oral health problems!


Childhood tooth decay is a real problem. Exposing your child’s oral cavity to sugar over long periods of time has been found to be the culprit behind most childhood tooth decay.

This includes putting milk or juice in a bottle and letting your child sip on it all day or even take it with them to bed. It’s always best to put water in a bottle and keep them away from sugary foods and drinks as much as possible.

With more than 40% of children having cavities by the time they reach kindergarten, putting a priority on your child’s oral health is important. Children’s baby teeth set the stage for their permanent teeth to erupt, so preventing tooth decay at this age is essential!

Children should ideally become acquainted with the dentist by the time they have their first tooth. If your child hasn’t seen a dentist in Asheville yet, it’s never too late to start familiarizing them with their local dentist!

Sensitive Teeth

Children’s tooth enamel on their baby teeth as well as their permanent teeth is susceptible to enamel erosion. Children can experience enamel damage for a variety of reasons, the primary cause being acid, which can happen from lack of oral hygiene or overexposure to sugar.

Tooth sensitivity can be painful for children leading to an inability to tolerate cold foods such as ice cream or even ice water. People with sensitive teeth often can’t tolerate hot foods and sometimes even spicy or sweet foods.

Having sensitive teeth from enamel erosion can impact a child’s enjoyment of foods as well as their oral health, as enamel erosion can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay.

Gum Disease

Children, like adults, can develop gum disease.  Symptoms of gum disease include irritated, swollen, red, or bleeding gums.  Your child may also have chronic bad breath that won’t go away even with brushing and flossing.

You can reverse gum disease if caught early, so visit your Asheville dentist for a checkup. Your dentist in Asheville, Dr. Saunders, can tell whether or not your child has gum disease and begin the treatment for gum disease before it has a chance to completely disrupt your child’s smile.

The longer you let gum disease progress, the harder it will be to reverse. Since gum disease has the potential to lead to tooth loss, the sooner you seek treatment for your child, the better.

Tooth Loss

Whether a tooth is lost from an accident or tooth decay, children stand to lose their baby teeth or their permanent teeth.  Some children lose their teeth as a result of decay  If these teeth are baby teeth the space needed for the eruption of their permanent teeth can be lost.  This can result in the need for orthodontic treatment just to allow for the child’s permanent teeth to erupt in the proper location.

If your child loses a tooth in an accident, it’s essential to know what to do in this dental emergency.  If you can, find the tooth and gently place it back in the socket until you can get to the dentist.  If you can’t find the tooth, pack the area with gauze.

Cracked or Chipped Teeth

A cracked or chipped tooth may not seem like a big deal, but getting it evaluated as soon as possible is important. This is because the trauma could lead to an infection inside the tooth.

Your child’s cracked or chipped tooth may be minor, but regardless, having a proper evaluation completed can give you peace of mind.  If it’s a permanent tooth an Dental X-ray need to be taken to ensure there is no root fracture.  The gum and pulpal health needs to be evaluated and the missing tooth structure should be replaced.  After this, its just a matter of monitoring the tooth health.

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a serious problem that could impact your child’s teeth for life. Since teeth exert an immense amount of pressure when they grind against each other, your child’s teeth could wear down quickly.

Bruxism creates a variety of symptoms, from headaches and enamel erosion to irritated gum tissue and even tooth loss.

Your Asheville dentist can tell whether or not your child is a teeth grinder and determine the severity.

Thumb Sucking

Most children suck their thumbs, although thumb sucking typically stops between the ages of 2 and 4.  If your child continues to suck their thumb as their adult teeth erupt, this can affect the growth and the alignment of teeth, possibly leading to the need of orthodontics later in life.

Dental Anxiety or Dental Phobia

Dental anxiety and dental phobia are real for millions of Americans, some of which are children. If your child suffers from dental anxiety or dental phobia, finding the right Asheville dentist is important.

Although dental sedation is certainly an option, getting your child used to the dentist as early in life as possible can help curb their fears. Finding a child-friendly dentist such as Saunders DDS can help your child feel more at ease.

Talking with your dentist beforehand is essential to helping your child feel comfortable and helping them overcome their dental anxiety or dental phobia.

Malalignment Issues

Having misaligned teeth or a malocclusion (a misaligned bite) can be the result of genes as well as lifestyle factors.  Mostly, though, children aren’t at fault for needing orthodontics.  Their unique smile will determine whether or not they may need braces.

Jaw misalignment can cause headaches in addition to trouble pronouncing words and chewing. Your child may experience pain even when their jaw is still. Getting an evaluation done by your dentist for a referral to an orthodontist can determine if your child needs orthodontics.


Many of the above dental health problems in children can be prevented simply by visiting a dentist regularly. Your child has the best chance for oral health success when they are introduced to the dentist early in life.

Make an appointment with Saunders DDS today to get your child evaluated for any dental health problems and to set them up for a beautiful healthy smile for life!

Speak to us today at (828) 277-6060