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Baby bottle tooth decay
Alternative namesBottle mouth (Bottle carries)
Baby bottle tooth decay is a dental condition characterized by significant decay (dental caries or cavities) of the infants teeth, particularly the upper and lower incisors.
The decay is caused by frequent and prolonged exposure to liquids containing sugars . The worst offenders are juices, punches, soft drinks, gelatin, sugar water or other sweetened liquids. Milk and formula can also contribute to decay.
Bacteria on the teeth uses these sugars as an energy source to form acids which attack tooth enamel. An almost continuous supply of sugar (meaning an infant with a bottle of juice in his mouth most of the day) means that decay takes place on a continuous basis rather than just at the times of feeding.
Tooth decay may also occur when breast-fed infants are on the breast for prolonged periods of time; for example, if the mother falls asleep while the baby is nursing .
Update Date: 1/17/2004Jacqueline A. Hart, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Newton, Ma., and Senior Medical Editor, A.D.A.M., Inc. Previously reviewed by Elizabeth Hait, M.D., Department of Pediatrics, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Cleveland, OH. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (2/19/2002).
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT