If you're like most people, you probably think of gum disease as something that primarily affects older adults — and because it's unexpected, gum disease may be overlooked in children or mistaken for something else, such as incoming adult teeth or simply growing pains. However, while it's true that severe gum disease generally impacts those over the age of 60, one type of gum disease, gingivitis, is actually fairly common in children. Even though gingivitis rarely progresses to periodontitis in children the way it does in adults, it's nonetheless important to be mindful of the possibility of your child developing it. Fortunately, gingivitis is preventable as well as reversible. Here's what you need to know about it.
Signs of Gingivitis in Children
The signs of gingivitis in children are similar to those of adults and include swollen, red, and tender gums. Bleeding may also occur in those affected by this condition, particularly after brushing and flossing. Your child may also experience a degree of sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages. When allowed to continue untreated, gingivitis may result in ulcerated gum tissues, and these have the potential to cause permanent damage if they become infected.
Risk Factors for Gingivitis in Children
Risk factors for gingivitis in children include a diet high in sugar and starches and poor oral hygiene. Children under the age of six usually haven't developed the fine motor skills necessary to do a proper job of brushing and flossing, so parents are encouraged to help them with this activity as much as possible. Crowded teeth may also be conducive to the development of gingivitis because their numerous nooks and crannies are hard to reach by brushing and flossing. In older children, orthodontic appliances may be the culprit behind a gingivitis flareup. Your children's dental care specialist may recommend an antibacterial mouthwash designed for use by children to keep bacterial levels down.
Preventing Gingivitis in Children
Because gingivitis is ultimately the result of a bacterial buildup on teeth commonly known as plaque, the most effective way of preventing it is to not allow plaque to develop in the first place. This is best achieved by careful attention to oral hygiene combined with limitations on candy, desserts, sugared juices, and sodas, but these strategies alone won't eliminate all plaque. Your child should visit a pediatric dental clinic every six months for an examination and teeth cleaning session. The examination will help identify emerging issues so they can be treated immediately, and the teeth cleaning session will remove all plaque buildup from the surface of the teeth.
For more information, contact a pediatric dental clinic in your area.Share
2 December 2020
Do you have a different doctor from your spouse? Does your child see a pediatrician? Most families have different medical health providers for different members of the family. This makes sense in most cases, but did you know that you can find a dentist who will treat every person in the family from a baby to a senior? I'm a manager or a family dentist, and in this blog you will learn why a family dentist is a great idea. I will tell you the many advantages of taking every family member to the same dentist, and I will give you tips of finding the right dental office for your family.