Cavities and tooth decay are so common that you may not take them seriously. And you may think that it doesn't matter if children get cavities in their baby teeth. However, cavities and tooth decay can have serious and lasting complications, even for children who haven't yet gotten their permanent teeth.

Complications may include:

  • Pain
  • Tooth abscess
  • Tooth loss
  • Broken teeth
  • Chewing problems
  • Serious infections

In addition, when cavities and decay become severe and very painful, they can interfere with daily living. The pain may prevent you from going to school or work, for instance. If it's too painful or difficult to chew or eat, you may lose weight or develop nutrition problems. Cavities that affect your appearance or result in tooth loss may affect your confidence and self-esteem. In rare cases, an abscess from a cavity can cause serious or even life-threatening infections when not properly treated.

Apr. 28, 2011