Should my son’s baby teeth be extracted?

My son is 20 months old, and has had trauma to his four front teeth. I believe that the trauma has caused severe discoloring to his teeth, because he never took a bottle or a pacifier (instead he was breastfed). Aside from the green discoloring, there is also wearing away of the enamel. I give him a childrens multi-vitamin everyday, but I fear it is not doing much good. Will I need to have his four front teeth extracted? I appreciate your time, thanks!
– Nikki from Ohio

Nikki,
I’m not sure I understand the relationship between your baby’s trauma and the bottle or pacifier. And it would help to know just what the trauma was. But let me see if I can still be helpful.

Green discoloring in baby teeth is probably from bacteria. Children can get these unusual stains on their teeth, and as their bodies get used to the various bacteria that are naturally in their environment, the discoloration goes away. I would take your baby to the dentist and have the teeth cleaned and examined.

The multi-vitamin may be a good idea, but it won’t have an effect on his teeth that are already erupted and in the mouth.

Trauma can cause the nerves in the teeth to be severed and then it may be necessary to have them extracted. But it’s best not to take them out unless it’s necessary, especially at the age of 20 months, because they are helpful for speech development.

Links to more information:
Dr. Hylan isn’t actually a Cleveland pediatric dentist, but he loves to treat children and is very experienced at it.
Read more about tooth extractions.

Some pain after my root canal

I had a serious problem with two teeth. I had root canal treatments done in Russia maybe 15 years ago. I had no idea that the roots on these teeth were not finished. This year when I went to a dentist and he told me that I had an infection.

4 days ago I had root canal treatments for the second time in these teeth performed very well, by an endodontist. When I left his office I suddenly realized that my pressure headache went away so is my chest pain, and on the next day my gums looked better than ever. But today the headacke and the chest pain is back again. Do you think I should go on antiboatics? Because endodontist told me that infection started destroying my bone already, but he told me that it will be healed.
Please help. Natasha from Minnesota

Natasha,
We find that in many foreign countries their treatment standards are way below ours in the United States. And incompletely done root canal treatments are very common abroad. Fortunately, it looks like you finally have this long-standing problem taken care of.

Usually antibiotics are not needed after a root canal treatment. Once the source of the infection (the tooth) is treated, your body can easily take care of the bacteria that may have entered the bone. There may be some slight pain and sensitivity afterward, but that should go away over a few days.

There is always a possibility that a root canal treatment won’t work, and every dentist who does root canals should explain that to the patient. There is no guarantee. So there is that possibility that your treatments may fail. But it doesn’t sound to me like you need antibiotics. I would wait out this pain you’re having, as long as it’s not too bad. If it persists more than 2 or 3 days, or if it gets very bothersome, I’d go back to the endodontist and ask him to check the teeth.

Other information:
Read about dental implants.