Gum disease doesn’t just occur in adults. Teens and younger kids are also susceptible to it, so they also need preventative care. Studies indicate that as many as fifty percents of adults have some form of gum disease. If children neglect their teeth when they’re young, they might very well end up joining that percentile. Here’s what you can do to prevent that.
How do Children develop Gum Disease?
Bacteria and food residue attach to your teeth and form a sticky film known as plaque. When plaque hardens, it becomes tartar, and the plaque continues to build. Eventually, the gums get red and swollen. In more severe stages, teeth can loosen due to the damage inflicted on the bone and soft tissue beneath the teeth. For a child to have an advanced stage of gum disease such as that is rare, but they more commonly get a milder form known as gingivitis.
Symptoms of Gum Disease in Children
Red, puffy, swollen gums are the symptoms of gum disease that show up first. Gums will easily bleed when brushing and flossing. Also, watch out for bad breath that persists even after brushing and flossing. In later stages, the disease can cause loose teeth and pockets in the gums surrounding the teeth where plaque will keep accumulating.
Causes of Gum Disease in Children
Poor dental hygiene is usually what causes gum disease in children, but various diseases and disorders can increase a child’s risk of developing it. Examples include type 1 diabetes, Kindler syndrome, Down syndrome, and Papillon–Lefèvre syndrome, among others. Genetics are also a factor that can increase your child’s risk of gum disease, so make sure to let us know if the disease runs in the family.
Teens often start experiencing problems in their gums after they hit puberty. Increases in progesterone and likely estrogen raise the blood flow to the gums, which in turn increase their sensitivity.
Preventing and Treating Gum Disease in Children
Gum disease will cause considerable problems for your child, so both you and your child must act proactively in prevention. First and foremost, you must teach your child good oral hygiene. Your kid should brush his teeth twice a day. Teach him how to floss and make sure he does so once per day.
Your kid should start seeing the dentist after he turns one and should come in for a checkup and cleaning once every six months after that. Also, remember to act as a good role model by taking proper care of your teeth as well.
If a mild form of gingivitis develops in your child’s mouth, we can treat it by way of professional oral cleanings and by laying out a more effective dental hygiene plan. However, if his condition gets worse, we may need to employ a gum disease treatment for children. This could entail deep cleaning, an oral rinse or medications, and antibiotics. We may need to do surgery if the disease reaches an advanced phase.
For more information, please contact our office at (614) 427-0449.