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Healthy teeth

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Healthy primary teeth and gums

Indications of health:

  • Adequate spacing between teeth
  • Gums pink and firm to the touch
  • Teeth shiny and white
  • Teeth uniform in color

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Healthy molars and premolars with dental sealants

Dental sealants:

  • Effective in preventing decay in posterior teeth
  • Milky white or clear plastic placed in tooth pits and grooves
  • Recommended for all permanent posterior teeth soon after eruption
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Dental Cavities Progression

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Early Cavities

Recommendation:
Fluoride therapy

  • Chalky white spots on the teeth along the gum line, or on the front teeth as shown here
  • Early decay, which can be remineralized/reversed with multiple topical fluoride treatments

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Advanced Childhood Cavities

Recommendation:
Dental treatment

  • Brown/black holes on tooth near gum-line
  • Need to be evaluated by dentist to treat infected teeth
  • Cavities spread quickly - especially in baby teeth

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Childhood Cavities on Molars

Recommendation:
Immediate dental treatment

  • Brown/black holes on top of molars
  • Indication of severe decay
  • Could lead to abscess and systemic spread of infection

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Severe Childhood Cavities

Recommendation:
Immediate dental treatment

  • Generalized brown/black holes on front of teeth
  • Could lead to abscess and systemic spread of infection

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Severe Childhood Cavities with abscess

Recommendation:
Immediate dental treatment

  • Drainage of infection from tooth root to gums
  • Can lead to spread of infection
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Dental Anomalies

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Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

Recommendation:
Dental evaluation/treatment

  • Parafunctional habit, common in childhood
  • Severe bruxism can lead to fractured and broken teeth
  • Damage to teeth can be prevented with a custom fitted mouth guard

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Enamel Hypoplasia - Thin Enamel

Recommendation:
Dental evaluation/treatment

  • Defect in tooth enamel that results in less enamel than normal
  • Ranges from a small pit or dent in the tooth to malformation of entire tooth
  • Can be more susceptible to dental cavitites
  • May be caused by medications taken during enamel formation of permanent teeth

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Over-Retained Primary Teeth

Recommendation:
Dental treatment needed

  • Primary tooth still in position with a permanent tooth trying to erupt
  • Usually requires extraction of the primary tooth
  • Presence of primary teeth in teenagers and adults may indicate congenitally missing or an impacted permanent tooth
  • X-rays are often needed to confirm the diagnosis
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Pathology

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Apthous Ulcers (Canker Sores)

Recommendation:
See dentist if conditions persists longer than two weeks or occurs frequently

  • Located on gingival nonkeratinized tissue (inner cheek, inside lip, soft palate)
  • Often induced by immunosuppression, oral trauma or stress

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Herpetic Lesions

Recommendation:
See dentist if condtion persists longer than two weeks

  • Located on keratinized tissues (lip, hard palate, gum attached to alveolar bone)
  • Contagious, reoccurring vesicular lesion
  • Often induced by oral trauma, immunosuppression or stress

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Calculus (Hard Plaque) and Gingival Inflammation

Recommendation:
Dental evaluation/treatment

  • Mineralized plaque on teeth
  • Leads to bacteria sticking at gum-line
  • Contributing factor to gum diseases

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Oral Signs of Sexual Abuse

Recommendation:
Immediate report to proper authorities

  • Unexplained injury or petechiae of the palate, particularly at the junction of the hard and soft palate, may be evidence of forced oral sex