Pediatric Dental Report Discusses Preventable ‘Epidemic’ of Childhood Tooth Decay

Dentist Serving Buffalo, Lancaster, Orchard Park, New York

Some dental problems experienced in early childhood can have long-term impacts on a person’s oral health and general health. While common conditions such as cavities are generally preventable with good dental hygiene habits, a recent report from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) states that tooth decay among young children has reached epidemic proportions.

Depew dentist Dr. Larry Evola and the knowledgeable, friendly team at Forestream Dental offer comprehensive dental care to patients from the greater Buffalo, New York, area. Through our general dentistry practice, we are dedicated to preventive care and providing you with the information you and your family need to maintain healthy smiles for life. Please call us at 716-656-8686 to schedule your dental checkup or cosmetic dentistry consultation.

In its first State of Little Teeth report, the AAPD calls the increase in tooth decay among young children “a public health crisis that poses an immediate and long-term threat not just to the teeth of young children but to their overall health and development.” According to the report, the aggressive form of tooth decay known as early childhood caries (ECC) is the most common chronic early childhood disease in the United States; for the sake of comparison, the report says that ECC is five times more common than asthma.

The AAPD report describes ECC as the result of “exposure to bacteria through contact with saliva … The bacteria metabolize sugars to produce acid which, over time, demineralizes tooth structure.” ECC can cause rapid cavity development and lead to the infection of a tooth’s pulp.

According to data cited in the AAPD report, 28 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 5 in the United States suffer from tooth decay. The report states that by the age of 5, approximately 60 percent of children in the United States will have had at least one cavity.

ECC is common among children who are regularly provided with pacifying bottles of sugary drinks, such as juice, formula or milk. Early childhood tooth decay and the problems it can lead to later are typically preventable with a good dental hygiene routine and healthy lifestyle choices.

Adult patients who experienced early childhood dental conditions often seek to restore beauty and functionality to their smiles through restorative dentistry or cosmetic dentistry treatments. If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your smile, Dr. Evola can help you understand your options based on your unique health needs and aesthetic goals.

If it’s time for your regular dental exam and teeth cleaning, or you’d like to learn about your cosmetic dentistry options, please contact Forestream Dental today. We welcome patients from Depew and the surrounding Buffalo, Lancaster and Orchard Park, New York, areas.