Gum Disease Doesn’t Discriminate!
It attacks children just like it does adults. There are several different types that children are prone to. And if it isn’t prevented and treated properly, it can cause loose teeth and damage the bone and soft tissue under and around the teeth.
Gum Disease in Children
Gum disease is marked by chronic swelling and redness (inflammation) of the soft tissue called “gingiva” that surrounds the teeth. It also involves abnormal loss of bone tissue that holds the teeth in place.
Bacteria in the mouth secrete toxins that mix together with food particles and saliva to form “gingival plaque”. If the plaque isn’t cleaned away from the gum line quickly enough, it begins to harden into “tartar”. Left unaddressed, it can cause periodontal gum disease.
As with adults, early signs in kids are bad breath and gum bleeding, redness, and swelling. Later-stages involve considerable and chronic pain as the bone tissue around the teeth begins to recede. This causes movement of the teeth, which leads to the formation of “gum pockets”.
Bacteria can cause an infection inside the gum pockets, which then causes more swelling, redness, pain, and loss of bone tissue. Advanced gum disease can cause the person to lose teeth that are completely healthy.
Good, consistent oral health habits are the best way to prevent and treat gum disease in kids (or adults). Help your children to develop proper oral hygiene habits as early as possible:
- Teach them to brush every day
- Have them swish their mouths with water after eating
- As soon as their teeth develop gaps, help them to begin flossing
- Take them to see the dentist regularly for checkups, cleanings, and evaluations
The American Academy of Periodontology advises that advanced periodontal disease can be indicative of a systemic health disorder. If you think your child exhibits advanced signs, contact us today.