The rising number of young children needing major dental surgery has some pediatric dentists in Calgary calling it an epidemic.

Severe tooth decay among babies, toddlers and young children is increasing at an astonishing rate, according to Dr. Sarah Hulland, a pediatric dentist in Calgary.

"You know, one of my favourite quotes is if I do my job right I will actually make myself not have a job anymore. No, I don't see myself being put out of business at all. Unfortunately," she said.

Hulland said more young children are showing up in need of dental surgery than ever before. The main causes: too much sugar, too little fluoride, she said. 

Dental public health officer for Alberta Health Services, Dr. Luke Schwart, said tooth decay is a multi-faceted disease.

But Calgary’s decision last year to stop adding fluoride to tap water is certain to make a growing problem worse, Schwart added.