AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Types of Oral Health Problems in Children and How to Treat

The etiology and treatment of early childhood issues presents the dentist with various clinical encounters typically not seen in adults. These orofacial conditions require special attention and careful management. Most common irregularities found in children from infancy to adolescence include the following:

• Soft and hard tissue anomalies
• Teething
• Nursing caries
• Eruption problems
• Space maintenance
• Poor oral habits
• Dental development issues

Dentists treating children are able to detect any of the oral diseases and create a treatment plan specifically tailored to the patient’s needs. All progress is diligently recorded as the patient transitions from childhood to adolescence and adulthood. Most frequent conditions noted by pediatric dentists are as follow.

oral children Oral Health Problems In Children

Eruption Cysts – Eruption of primary or permanent teeth often leads to the formation of cysts. The appearance resembles swollen pockets of blood. The cysts typically rupture as the teeth erupt and do not require any treatment. However, many children exhibit signs of discomfort by rubbing their mouth and ears as well as excessive crying. Mild pain reliever may be administered if the symptoms persist for a prolonged period of time.

Soft Tissue Injuries – The condition is often related to accidental biting or chewing of the lips. Mentally or physically disabled children with limited motor skills frequently masticate improperly and injure the soft oral tissue including the lips, cheeks and tongue. The wounds typically heal within a week with the administration of petroleum jelly and antibiotic creams.

Cellulitis – This acute inflammatory infection often affects the facial tissues. The source of infection is often dentition related, but it can be also a side effect of a sinus or glandular disorder. The complications may include the spread of infection to blood vessels resulting in airway obstruction, dehydration and restricted swallowing. The treatment may include hospital admission, IV hydration and administration of antibiotics. Once the patient is stabilized, the offending tooth is extracted.

Alveolar Abscess – Purulent material sometimes accumulates around the apex of the tooth leading to necrosis. The tooth becomes sensitive to movement and percussion. The swelling of the surrounding tissue may become extensive, and in many cases, the patient may develop mild fever. The treatment usually involves drainage of the infection or extraction of the affected tooth in conjunction with prescribed antibiotics to restore healthy oral tissue.

Finger and Thumb Habits – Most children outgrow these habits by the age of five. However, if the routine continues, it may lead to open anterior bite and movement of the maxillary and mandibular incisors resulting in poor speech patterns and meager aesthetic appearance. The treatment does not include the use of drugs. The simplest venue of correcting the habit is gentle counseling of both the patient and the parents to enforce the reminder therapy. Most children respond well and quit the addiction within few weeks of counseling.

Oral care is an essential part of healthy body and mind. The parents play a major role in creating good oral habits for their children. Unexpected circumstances may create an urgent need for dental assistance but in general, the children learn from their caretakers and will follow the suggestions implemented early in life.


About Author : Paul Chai is a dental health & wellness enthusiast writer working with a family dentist in Mississauga to provide dentistry education.
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