Babies in the age group of 18 months to 3 years normally develop baby bottle tooth decay. It is caused by feeding the baby with a milk bottle at bedtime. It keeps the milk in contact with the teeth for a longer time resulting in tooth decay.
The saliva present in the baby’s mouth prevents tooth decay by maintain the pH of the mouth. When the baby is asleep, saliva production stops which causes decaying of the enamel. The symptoms of baby bottle tooth decay are:
Yellowing of the teeth is a common symptom of tooth decay. Due to microbial growth the tooth enamels get tarnished resulting in discoloration of the teeth. Black and brown coloured spots on the teeth confirm the beginning of the decay. If not controlled properly the teeth may become black and ultimately fall.
The early sign of baby bottle tooth decay is inflammation of gums. This occurs due to accumulation of bacteria near the gums causing reddening and swelling of the gums.
Swelling of gums causes excessive pain in the teeth. As the roots of the teeth get damaged due to bacterial infection, it results in pain. In the initial stages pain occurs only while eating, but later on as the infection progresses pain also increases causing a persistent pain in the teeth. This pain prohibits the baby to eat or drink anything, hampering his/her health also.
Inflammation and pain in gums also affects the eating and speaking ability of the child. The child experiences pain while opening his mouth. It even becomes difficult for him/her to chew anything. Babies have a habit of constant biting, but due to such inflammation, they are in pain and feel and restless while biting anything.
Teeth pain causes disturbance in sleep in babies. This can further lead to sleeping disorders in babies. Due to disturbance in sleep the baby shows mood swings, continuous crying and even digestion problems.
The baby loses his concentration power due to continuous pain, thereby decreasing his learning capacity. The baby’s continuous mood swings would not allow him to learn anything.
Baby bottle tooth decay causes a lot of damage in babies if neglected. It not only affects the baby physically but also affects the mental growth of the baby.
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