Gum disease in children
Chronic gingivitis is common in children. It usually causes gum tissue to swell, turn red and bleed easily. Gingivitis is both preventable and treatable with a regular routine of brushing, flossing and professional dental care. However, left untreated, it can eventually advance to more serious forms of periodontal disease. Click here for further information.
Aggressive Periodontitis can affect young people who are otherwise healthy. Localised aggressive periodontitis is found in teenagers and young adults and mainly affects the first molars and incisors. It is characterised by the severe loss of alveolar bone, and ironically, patients generally form very little dental plaque or calculus. Click here for further information.
Generalised Aggressive Periodontitis may begin around puberty and involve the entire mouth. It is marked by inflammation of the gums and heavy accumulations of plaque and calculus. Eventually it can cause the teeth to become loose and lost.
Four basic signs will alert you to periodontal disease in your child:
- Gum Recession
- Bad breath
Advice for parents
Early diagnosis is important for successful treatment. Therefore, it is important that children receive a comprehensive periodontal examination as part of their routine dental visits. Be aware that if your child has an advanced form of periodontal disease, this may be an early sign of systemic disease. A general medical evaluation should be considered for children who exhibit severe periodontitis, especially if it appears resistant to therapy.
The most important preventive step against periodontal disease is to establish good oral health habits with your child. There are basic preventive steps to help your child maintain good oral health:
- Establish good dental hygiene habits early. When your child is 12 months old, you can begin using toothpaste when brushing his or her teeth. When the gaps between your child’s teeth close, it’s important to start flossing.
- Serve as a good role model by practicing good dental hygiene habits yourself.
- Schedule regular dental visits for family checkups, periodontal evaluations and cleanings.
- Check your child’s mouth for the signs of periodontal disease, including bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums, gums that are receding away from the teeth and bad breath.
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