SOME HEALTH ISSUES only impact adults, but gum disease is not one of them. Oral bacteria doesn’t wait for us to get older, so kids and teenagers are also at risk of developing gingivitis and more severe forms of periodontal disease.
What Causes Gum Disease in Children?
The main cause of gum disease in children is poor oral hygiene. If plaque is left to build up on the teeth until it hardens into tartar, the gums become more vulnerable to irritation and inflammation.
It’s a slightly different story for teenagers because the flood of hormones that comes with puberty can increase blood flow to the gums and make them more sensitive. Girls are more susceptible to this problem than boys. You may be shocked to learn that more than half of teenagers have some form of gum disease.
For a quick look at what causes gum disease in children and how to prevent it, check out this video. The video includes several helpful tips for good oral hygiene practices for your family.
Parents Can Watch for These Signs
Children lack the life experience to easily recognize when something is wrong, even if they’re experiencing discomfort. Because of this, your child might not think to give you a detailed description of their symptoms of gum disease. This can be a real problem because gum disease can worsen over time and it could be more advanced by the time they’ve noticed. Fortunately, there are signs parents can keep an eye out for:
- Bleeding gums during brushing or flossing
- Swollen and reddened gums
- Gum recession
- Constant bad breath regardless of brushing and flossing
Preventing and Treating Gum Disease in Children
It’s wonderful if your child doesn’t have gum disease, but the fight to maintain healthy gums is continuous. Good dental hygiene habits are essential, so be sure to set an example by brushing twice a day for two minutes each and flossing daily and helping them follow that example. Schedule regular dental checkups for your kids and teens, because the dentist can catch problems early when they’re easier to reverse and professional cleanings are the only way to remove built-up tartar. Talk with your child’s dentist about how to encourage positive oral hygiene.
Preventing a dental problem is always preferable to treating it once it appears, but it is very possible to fight back against existing gum disease with these same methods: good dental hygiene habits and regular dental appointments.
Let’s Work Together for Healthy Gums!
Childhood is an important time for a person’s oral health, because it’s the time to learn and build the habits that will keep our teeth and gums healthy for the rest of our lives. Parents and dentists can work together to give kids a great head start on good oral health. They’ll be able to defeat gum disease and build all the tools they need for a lifetime of healthy smiles!
We can’t wait to see you and your child!
Morristown Pediatric Dentistry provides dental services for children and adolescents in the Lakeway Area. We strive to provide a fun, caring, and child-friendly environment. We are here to help your children form healthy oral hygiene habits and help them take care of their teeth. We are conveniently located in the heart of Morristown at 950 West 1st North Street. To make an appointment with one of Morristown Pediatric Dentistry’s doctors, please call: 423-581-1877.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.