Unfortunately, the short answer is potentially yes! When a child has untreated tooth decay it can negatively affect the health of their baby teeth, and the permanent teeth underneath. A decayed tooth can become severely infected, affecting the permanent teeth. This is why it’s important for even very young children to see a dentist regularly.
Regular dental appointments allow our dentists to detect any signs of decay that much more quickly. A small cavity will only need a small filling, but larger cavities can require substantially bigger fillings, and we will need to evaluate the nerve of the tooth. The tooth nerve is situated right in the centre of the tooth, and if it becomes infected, we may need to perform what’s called a baby root canal treatment. This is different from an adult root canal treatment, and the idea is to restore the baby tooth and to help maintain an infection-free environment, enabling the permanent tooth underneath to develop correctly.
Another thing we can do is to look at why tooth decay is affecting your child. The most common reasons are poor oral hygiene or diet, and both are factors we can help you with.