Gum Disease and Your Child

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Blog Highlights

  • It is important for you, the parent, to teach your child good oral hygiene
  • Gingivitis is the most common type of gum disease and anyone at any age can suffer from it
  • Often gum disease is caused by an overabundance of plaque and bacteria

As soon as your child’s teeth start coming in, they become susceptible to gum disease. While it is true that some gum diseases are more common in adults, children can also suffer from gum disease and be plagued by the damaging effects for the rest of their lives. It is important for you, the parent, to teach your child good oral hygiene and to help them develop healthy habits to prevent dental issues.

There are three types of gum disease children are more susceptible to:

Aggressive Periodontitis

Aggressive Periodontitis develops when gingivitis is left untreated. Common in teenagers and young adults, this disease results in plaque buildup and the loss of alveolar bone, the bone that makes up the sockets that hold teeth. Typically molars and incisors are most at risk.

Generalized Aggressive Periodontitis

Once your child reaches puberty, they become susceptible to generalized aggressive periodontitis. This disease includes an excessive amount of plaque buildup that results in damaged gums. If not addressed, eventually your child’s teeth will become loose.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the most common type of gum disease and anyone at any age can suffer from it. The disease affects the gums, causing them to be swollen, red, and sensitive. If your child complains about pain when brushing their teeth or you notice their gums are            bleeding, this is a sign that they may have developed gingivitis. It is important to treat gingivitis as soon as it is detected as it can lead to the more serious periodontal diseases mentioned above.

Treatment

Often gum disease is caused by an overabundance of plaque and bacteria. Regular dentist appointments can help reduce the chances of your child developing gum disease. In general, gum disease can be largely avoided by adhering to good oral hygiene practices. Make sure your child brushes their teeth daily and uses a mouthwash as directed by their dentist. Encourage the habit of brushing their teeth with colorful toothbrushes and tasty, kid-friendly toothpaste.

If you suspect your child may have gum disease you should make an appointment to see your dentist immediately. You can ask your dentist to speak with you child to help them understand how their actions will affect their teeth in the future.