What Is Gum Disease in Children?
Gum disease in children seems like a far-fetched idea since the condition is more often linked to adults. But, unfortunately, it is a condition that is too prevalent in little mouths. A gum disease in children study showed that 50% of children and 66 % of young adults have periodontal disease.
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, describes inflammation of the oral tissues and bone that support your teeth. Unresolved gum disease can lead to tooth loss and more serious, whole-body problems and diseases.
What Triggers Gum Disease?
Gum disease and plaque build-up go hand-in-hand. Plaque, that invisible sticky layer of germs that forms naturally on the enamel of your teeth and gums, contains bacteria, which create toxins that irritate and damage the gums.
Brushing and flossing your teeth every day — and regular trips to the dentist — help you keep the hundreds of kinds of bacteria in your mouth under control.
Identifying Gum Disease Early is Key
Regular trips to Li’l Sunshine Smiles allows Dr. Cat and her team to catch the signs of gum disease early before they can get out of control. Children who have severe periodontitis, especially if it doesn’t respond to therapy, may have an underlying systemic issue. Our team will work with you to identify what is causing the gum disease and work to eliminate it.
How to Prevent Gum Disease in Children
The American Academy of Periodontology counsels to establish good oral health habits with your child as the best defense against gum disease:
- Establish dental hygiene habits early. When your child is 12 months old, begin using toothpaste when brushing his teeth. Start flossing when the gaps between the teeth close.
- Schedule regular dental visits. Dental exams, cleanings and periodontal evaluations are a key part of prevention.
- Examine your child’s mouth. Look for signs of periodontal disease such as bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums, gums that are receding away from the teeth and bad breath.