“My daughter’s front baby tooth is chipped.
“Since she was 1 it has slowly chipped away to the gum, I have taken her to other dentists who tell me to wait for it to fall out. However today I noticed that her gum above it is going black – what should I do? Is it affecting her adult tooth?
She has had bad breath and swollen gums too so I am worried she might also have gum disease. I don’t want to take any risks with her teeth.”
– Question from Jamie of Northlakes in Brisbane
Dr David Kerr replies:
When we see changes such as these there is always the concern of abscess formation and infection. The gum and oral tissues should be naturally a light pink colour when healthy.
Why do gums change colour?
Tissues that are dark in colour tend to be infected or diseased rather than the adult teeth in the gum.
Typically the baby incisor teeth are not lost until the age of seven when the adult teeth come down into position.
Care of baby teeth is important
If there is infection present in the gums or the jawbone around the baby incisor tooth then there is a risk of damage to the development and eruption of the adult tooth that is forming under it.
It would be prudent to take your child to have this area assessed properly because should any disease or infection be present, it can then be treated before any serious or permanent damage occur.
More information about caring for your child’s teeth
My colleague at Today’s Dentistry, Dr Darryl Marsh, has written a useful blog series relating to caring for your baby and children’s teeth and you may find some more useful information in these articles:
- Dental advice for new parents
- Why treat baby teeth when they are only going to fall out anyway?
- Keeping up with your child’s dental health
- Advanced dental testing for healthy kiddy smiles
- Special advice to help children avoid dental problems
- Seven easy steps to help your child avoid tooth cavities
This is also not the first question we had had to our Ask a Dentist feature about caring for children’s teeth. Make sure you also check out what we had to say about children’s toothpaste and why they advise not to swallow them.