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Gum Disease in Children

Gum Disease Awareness Month: Children's Gum Disease

gum disease in children

The month of February is Gum Disease Awareness Month. You may be wondering, “Can toddlers have gum disease?” The truth is that, while more severe types of gum disease are uncommon in children, persistent gingivitis is frequent in children of all ages. The good news is that parents who take an active interest in their child’s dental health routine can easily avoid significant difficulties from happening. Below, our family dentist Grand Junction shares the primary warning indicators to look for to ensure your child isn’t in the early stages of gum disease.

What Does Gum Disease Look Like?

Dr. Eastham, the best dentist in Grand Junction CO, put together a list of the symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • While brushing or flossing your teeth, you may experience bleeding.
  • Puffiness or swelling of the gums, or any other sign that they are irritated or inflammatory
  • Bad breath (halitosis) that persists after regular brushing and flossing
  • Receding gum lines that expose the tooth’s root

Below, our family dentist in Grand Junction shares three forms of gum disease that children might get and tips on how to avoid these oral health issues.

Early Stages of Gum Disease: Chronic Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a minor kind of gum disease, did you know? If you see your child’s gums bleed when brushing or flossing their teeth, this indicates gingivitis in its early stages. Fortunately, this sort of gum disease is readily treatable! Brushing and flossing regularly and thoroughly are the most effective techniques to prevent gum disease. However, if neglected or untreated, chronic gingivitis can deteriorate. Our friends at College Hill, dentist Easton PA, shares that this ca then and progress to a far more dangerous type of periodontal disease, such as periodontitis.

Aggressive Periodontitis

Adolescents are more prone than adults to develop aggressive periodontitis. However, in contrast to other gum diseases, children with severe periodontitis are unlikely to build dental plaque or tartar. Aggressive periodontitis is characterized by alveolar bone loss and affects the molars or incisors. 

Periodontitis with Aggressive Behavior

Around the age of puberty, your child may develop generalized aggressive periodontitis, which can affect the entire mouth. If severe periodontitis has set, you should expect to witness gum inflammation, plaque buildup, and tartar.  This is a far more dangerous form of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss early on.

Periodontal Disease Prevention

While it may be tempting for children to miss a night and go to bed without cleaning their teeth, an irregular oral health practice might lead to problems in the future. If brushing before sleep is difficult for your children, have them brush soon after dinner, as long as no snacks follow.

Your family dentist near me will be able to detect any indications of periodontal disease. This is especially true if you keep up with frequent dental examinations. Then, based on the severity of the symptoms, we can find a treatment strategy. 

“Kids can avoid gingivitis by maintaining a consistent dental health regimen at home. Parents should watch their children’s brushing habits until they reach the age of eight to practice good behaviors regularly and brush and floss correctly.” – Dr. Joshua Eastham

Gum Disease Treatment

Gum disease will not go on its own. If your kid develops gingivitis early, it may be addressed with frequent dental exams and a strict oral hygiene program at home. If their gum disease has already progressed to a more critical level, they may require more regular dental exams, such as thorough cleanings every three months.

We hope this post has increased your understanding of how gum disease affects children and how you, as parents, may help avoid it.