Pediatric Dental Issues with Special Needs Children
Although children with certain disabilities can sometimes be more susceptible to certain dental problems, they also deal with the same common dental problems of all other kids. We at Just for Kids Dentistry aim to help parents recognize and get appropriate treatment for some of these common pediatric dental problems discussed below.
A dark black-and-bluish front primary tooth can indicate a change in the health of the underlying nerve, usually an indicator of past trauma to the tooth, in which case contact us for an examination.
Facial or gum swelling is most likely a sign of an infected tooth, usually caused by a deep cavity, or possibly even indicative of past trauma to the tooth with resulting nerve damage. With “baby” teeth, the usual solution is to remove the tooth. With older children and teens with permanent teeth, the typical treatment is a root canal procedure on the tooth. If you find a tooth that matches this description, contact our office as quickly as possible to help prevent the spread of infection.
Cavities or decay in all children and teens must be treated in both primary and permanent teeth.
An “over-retained ‘baby tooth’” is one that remains firmly in position when an adult tooth is trying to push through and replace it. An over-retained tooth needs to be removed as quickly as possible, so the adult tooth can take its permanent position in the same location.
This issue occurs most frequently with the front teeth, although older children, aged 7-13, may retain primary teeth in the molar and cuspid region as well. The existence of baby teeth in the middle teenage years can point to another potential problem, like “congenitally absent adult tooth” or an impacted adult tooth.
Bruxism, which is the medical term for teeth grinding, occurs more frequently in children with disabilities. Bruxism usually takes place when a child is asleep, but certain children also grind their teeth throughout the day. If continued over a period of time, this habit can cause tooth abrasion and damaged tooth structure. In adult teeth, grinding can lead to periodontal disease (bone loss) and/or a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) in which the upper and lower jaws are out of alignment resulting in headaches and facial pain. However, these are extreme cases.
Bruxism can be diagnosed through a standard dental examination in our office. Treatment can possibly include adjustments to your bite or even a bite-guard appliance. However, typically the habit is outgrown and these treatments are not necessary.
At Just For Kids Dentistry in Las Vegas, we offer comprehensive pediatric dentistry and want all our young patients to enjoy great dental health. Call to schedule that first dental checkup with us today!