Children May Be at Risk for Gum Disease

Just because they’re young doesn’t mean that young children and teenagers aren’t susceptible to gum disease. Periodontal diseases can easily strike kids in that age range who are otherwise healthy. These oral diseases are not uncommon in children.

Table of Contents

Are Teens at Greater Risk for Periodontal Disease?

Teens are at a greater risk for periodontal disease due to the hormonal changes that accompany puberty. Progesterone and conceivably estrogen deliver more blood circulation to the gums, which can heighten the gums’ reaction to irritations such as plaque and bits of food. 

Periodontists treat only the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. Following dental school, periodontists continue their education with three years of training that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease.

What is Chronic Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums due to bacterial buildup. Chronic gingivitis makes gums swell, turn very red, and bleed easily. Using a regular regime of brushing, flossing, and certified dental care, chronic gingivitis is avoidable and treatable. If it isn’t treated, however, it can ultimately turn into a more intense type of periodontal disease. 

What is Aggressive Periodontitis?

Aggressive Periodontitis disorder targets the first molars and incisors of teens and young adults. Aggressive periodontitis attacks and eats into the alveolar bone, which is the thick ridge of jaw bone that holds tooth sockets. Generalized Aggressive Periodontitis tends to start around puberty and is characterized by gum irritation, and a lot of plaque and calculus (calcified dental plaque). This kind of periodontitis can make teeth become loose.  

How to Prevent Gum Disease in Children?

In addition to teaching your young child excellent oral health habits, it’s wise to check his or her mouth for bad breath and gums that are bleeding, swollen, receding, or really red. Dedicated specialists have thorough and expert proficiency regarding any periodontal procedure you or your child needs.

Gum Disease in Children FAQs

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a common oral health condition characterized by inflammation and infection of the gums and the surrounding tissues that support the teeth. It typically begins with the accumulation of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, on the teeth and gums.

If not properly treated, gum disease can progress and lead to symptoms such as gum swelling, bleeding, recession, tooth mobility, and even tooth loss. Good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, prevent and manage gum disease.

Gum disease in children is diagnosed through a combination of clinical evaluation and dental X-rays. Dentists assess the child’s oral health by examining the gums for signs of inflammation, bleeding, and recession. As increased pocket depth can be an indicator of gum disease, they may use a dental probe to gauge how deep the pockets are between the teeth and gums.

X-rays can reveal any bone loss around the teeth, which is another indicator of advanced gum disease. Regular dental check-ups are crucial for early detection and monitoring of gum disease in children.

Treatment for gum disease in children often involves less invasive approaches than those used for adults. Initially, it may focus on improving oral hygiene habits through proper brushing and flossing techniques. Dentists may also recommend professional dental cleanings to remove plaque and tartar buildup. In more advanced cases, where gum inflammation persists, antibiotics or antimicrobial mouth rinses can be prescribed.

Parents must monitor their children’s oral health, encourage a healthy diet, and schedule regular dental check-ups to detect and address gum disease early, as prevention and early intervention are key to managing the condition in children.