Children and Gum Disease

Many people think of gum diseases as a problem that is more prevalent in adults. On the other hand, studies show that children gum disease also exists – mostly in the form of gingivitis which happens to be the very first stage of periodontal (gum) disease. As common as gingivitis may be in children, advanced forms of gum disease is quite rare in children, although it may occur. Here are some of the key types of gum disease frequently seen in children:

Chronic Gingivitis

This is commonly seen in children. This type of periodontal disease usually causes the swelling of gum tissue, which in turn causes redness and makes the gums easily prone to bleeding. Getting your children into a regular routine of professional dental care, flossing and brushing can actually help treat and prevent Chronic Gingivitis in your children. However, leaving it untreated can cause it to advance to more serious stages of gum disease.

Aggressive Periodontitis

You will usually see this in your teen kids who might actually be otherwise healthy. In localized aggressive periodontitis, the molars and incisors are affected first. Key sings of aggressive periodontitis comprise extreme loss of alveolar bone. However, surprisingly, teens who have aggressive periodontitis form very little calculus or dental plaque.

Generalized aggressive periodontitis

This children’s gum disease may start in your children who are just around the corner of puberty. Probably the key difference between localized aggressive periodontitis and generalized aggressive periodontitis is that the latter affects the entire mouth while the former sticks to just certain areas. You can figure out whether your child has this type of gum disease by watching out for inflammation of the gums and the accumulation of calculus and plaque. If your child has this, get professional dental care immediately as it can cause the teeth to become loose.

Periodontitis associated with system disease

This can occur both in small children and adolescents. Such gum disease is caused due to some other system diseases such as Kindler syndrome, Down Syndrome, Type I Diabetes and Papillon – Lefevre syndrome.

When looking out for gum disease in your children, pay attention to the following:

  1. Bleeding: Bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal disease. Check whether your child’s gums are bleeding when brushing teeth while flossing or at any other time.
  2. Puffiness: Bright red and swollen gums are another typical sign of children’s gum disease.
  3. Recession: Watch out to see whether your child’s gum has receded away from the tooth. Although you may not notice this, the gums might have receded so much away from the tooth that the roots are exposed.
  4. Bad Breath: A child who has bad breath constantly which does not clear up with flossing or brushing should receive dental care for possible periodontitis disease.

It is essential that your children receive excellent professional dental care to prevent gum disease at an early age. Teach them (from an early age) to brush regularly and floss as well. As they grow older, tell them about the importance of brushing and flossing and how gum disease can affect their oral health. 

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