I know this is totally controversial, but this is what we did to stop the decay until DD was old enough to sit willingly for the dentist to fix her teeth. If the decay has already gone into the nerve, then you have no choice but to get it fixed immediately. Luckily this was not the case for us and so we did a combination of extreme diet change (Nourishing Traditions style except with LOADS of vegetables both raw and cooked) and topical fluoride treatments. The topical fluoride will kill the decay causing bacteria, as well as allow the re-enamelization to occur much stronger. We did the treatments in-office every 2 months and also did very teeny amounts of fluoride toothpaste (Toms of Maine) at home, the size of a grain of rice, either brushed or rubbed on as many times a day as possible. Optimally it is 7 x a day. I am very convinced of the effects of topical fluoridation, though am opposed to internal consumption of the stuff.
As the tooth decay dies, it will turn darker. When it is black, you know that it is dead. Read this thread for details and references on both color and fluoride treatments: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=282442
Breastfeeding can indeed cause tooth decay if the mother's diet is not optimal. Diet during pregnancy is also important as the baby's teeth enamel forms at this time. So if the diet is deficient, then the baby will not have proper tooth formation and thus be more susceptible to decay. If mama's diet is not sufficent during lactation, then there will not be enough free minerals or optimal balance of nutrients so that re-enamelization will not occur. If you are also suffering tooth and gum problems during breastfeeding, you may want to check your diet.
Native populations did not have problems with breastfeeding/baby tooth decay because they were eating proper diets which included loads of fibrous foods and very little sticky, easily fermented carbohydrates (like white bread) and no suboptimal foods like things in packages. When we as modern people eat things that stick to our teeth, then add breastmilk on top, then serious decay can occur.
But if mama's diet is deficient, then just breastmilk alone will cause decay due to baby's weak teeth and not enough minerals/nutrients in the milk. Please don't start flaming me and posting studies about how starving people in Third World countries are able to breastfeed their babies just fine, I have already debunked this in the Nutrition forum. They are only concerned with their babies getting enough
milk to survive, not milk of optimal nutrient quality which will allow their babies to thrive. Breastmilk, just like raw cow's milk, is a fermentable substance that will sour naturally if left out on its own. The sugars will ferment into acids, which is what makes yogurt tart. It is only with proper diet that the re-enamelization can occur and repair any damage through and because of breastmilk, not that generic breastmilk from every single mama in the world is some magical substance that will protect the teeth no matter what. If you put garbage in your mouth, then garbage will come out of your breasts. Your body will do the best it can with what it has, though, but it won't be enough if you're deficient.
If the decay is localized in the top 4 teeth area, then it is due to a liquid on the teeth. Usually it is seen with juice in bottles or sippy cups, but can be seen strictly because of breastmilk, again only if mama's diet is deficient. This was my case. My DD was strictly breastfed but developed rampant decay in the top 4 teeth.
Dakota'smom, hugs to you. My dd also experienced restraint at another dentist before I found my wonderful current gentle one, and she was traumatized for months afterwards. Nightmares, tantrums, trust issues, it was terrible. I feel for you and your little one.
My apologies in advance if my post sounds irritated. I am recovering from a stomach bug so I'm not feeling my best right now.
Hope that helps and feel free to ask questions!