How Serious Are Risks of Early Tooth Loss in Kids?

It Can Be a Big Deal if Your Child Loses the Baby Teeth Early

Children are naturally going to lose their toddler teeth but early tooth loss in kids could affect their teeth and mouth for many years. Some will be lost because they fall and their mouth hits furniture or some other object. Other reasons could also knock teeth out, but it is important to realize that when a child is losing baby teeth prematurely that they should be seen by a dentist right away.

Normal Tooth Loss

Most children will start early tooth loss when they are about six years old. Some children will start losing milk teeth around four which is not a problem because it might be normal for them. The first tooth to go is usually one in the lower front. 

When tooth loss is the result of an injury, the kids teeth should be located – and the bleeding stopped. The child should see a dentist quickly to determine if the loss will affect other teeth. 

Disease may also be behind other types of tooth loss. Diabetes and other diseases may cause early tooth loss because they may promote periodontitis. 

The Evaluation

When a child’s tooth is knocked out or comes out prematurely, it could easily affect future teeth. Neighboring teeth will tend to drift into the space if the next tooth is not ready to come in. 

If the teeth next to the space do drift into it, and then the new tooth starts to come down, it could cause a serious misalignment of many teeth. A dentist can prevent this by either replacing the lost tooth in its socket – if you get to the dentist quickly – or by placing a false tooth in its place. This helps the teeth to stay in their place and ensures that the new tooth has room, which also helps prevent overcrowding. If the new tooth comes into a place where there is not enough room, it will likely be misaligned. 

Injuries to the Mouth

In some cases, such as in sports injuries, a child may also experience damage to the jawbone. This is especially likely if the child has diabetes. This disease will decrease bone density (osteoporosis).

Protecting Your Child’s Teeth

Anytime your child is going to play sports involving physical contact or with flying objects (footballs, baseballs, hockey pucks, etc.), he or she should wear a teeth guard and a helmet. This low-cost device is much cheaper than expensive dental care and it could save your child’s smile. 

Problems with Gum Disease

When gum disease becomes advanced – periodontitis – it is a serious problem. The inflammation in gum disease can cause the loss of teeth. When periodontitis is present, the immune system will attack the gums, the structures that hold the teeth in place, and the jawbone. It will cause the teeth to become loose and then fall out. 

An even more serious problem occurs with gum disease. Once the bacteria are in the gums, the inflammation spreads through the bloodstream throughout the body. Buildups begin to occur in various parts of the body and in the organs. Over time, it can cause complete blockages, leading to heart attacks or strokes. Other diseases associated with the inflammation may include diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia, and many more. 

When teeth are out of their normal position, it makes it harder to keep the teeth clean. This can lead to cavities and gum disease.

Diseases That Can Cause Early Tooth Loss

In addition to diabetes, there are some other diseases that could cause early tooth loss. They may include:

  • Diseases of the blood
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Problems with the immune system. 

Misaligned Teeth

When teeth are out of alignment, there is hope. In nearly all cases, teeth can be moved into their correct place by means of orthodontics. Different tools can be applied to correct a misalignment including braces or aligners. 

When to See a Dentist

If your child loses a tooth under the age of three, it is a good idea to see a dentist – whether it is an accident or natural. The normal age is six and it usually takes about six years after that for all the baby teeth to fall out. 

When your child loses a tooth, you want to try and carefully pick it up and place it in milk. You want to try and get to a dentist within 30 minutes, if possible. If there is bleeding, try and stop it. If the tooth is a permanent one, pick it up by the crown and not the roots, and then rinse it off with water or milk.  If possible, try to gently replace it in the socket. Put it in milk, or if the child is old enough to hold it between their gums and their cheek, let them do it. The dentist may be able to save it, but it may require either splinting or a root canal. 

When your child loses a kids tooth, it is important to get to a dentist. This will enable the dentist to ensure a healthy mouth and the correct future alignment of the teeth. Gum disease treatment can be given if present, and regular checkups and preventive dentistry can be administered.