If you have a young child, you might be considering the pros and cons of dental x-rays. Dental x-rays are powerful tools that can help to visualize what's going on in your child's teeth and under the surface of their gums. However, some parents hesitate to have their children x-rayed under the belief that x-rays are not needed. If you're undecided, here are three things that dental x-rays can help to catch that might help you to decide.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth can emerge anytime between the ages of 17 and 25, but they begin growing long before that. In most cases, wisdom teeth will need to be removed due to a lack of space in the jaw. However, there are complications that occur with wisdom teeth that can be caught in advance by taking dental x-rays, even if your child is nowhere near their teen years.

Wisdom teeth can develop many problems before they emerge from the gums. However, one of the most common problems is that wisdom teeth can actually grow upside down or even sideways. This can put your child's oral health in danger by crowding surrounding teeth. For example, if an upper wisdom tooth were to grow upside down, it could travel upwards towards the sinus cavity, where it could penetrate if you don't have it removed in time. Getting your child's dental x-rays taken will help to catch this problem before it damages your child's body.

Tooth Resorption

Tooth resorption is an unusual disorder in which a tooth begins to decay from the inside out. Unlike standard tooth decay, this isn't due to poor oral hygiene habits. Tooth resorption can happen to anyone, even if your child avoids sugar and is brushing their teeth loyally.

Tooth resorption is particularly a problem because the decay can't be detected by sight alone. Since it starts on the inside, all it needs to do is grow a little bit and the tooth's pulp and root can be at risk. If the root is damaged, your child may need a full root canal from the local pediatric dentistry expert.

The good news is, dental x-rays can detect this problem early on so your dentist can remove the damaged part of the tooth and save the rest of it.

Jaw Malformations

Lastly, as children grow, the bones in their jaws are expected to grow with them. However, sometimes problems can occur. Jaws don't always grow evenly, sometimes due to disorders like juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Once this problem becomes advanced, it's harder to treat, as the jaw will have already grown incorrectly. Like the above problems, detecting it early on will allow your child's dentist and doctor to begin treating the problem before the bones have finished growing and the misalignment becomes permanent.

Dental x-rays can do a lot for anyone, but children in particular can benefit from them. If your child hasn't had dental x-rays yet or recently, talk to your dentist about having them taken at their next visit.