Frequently Asked Questions about Gum Disease in Children

Gum disease and gingivitis affect children frequently for a variety of reasons. Gum disease is a result of food and bacteria building up on teeth, leading to plaque. When plaque builds up and causes tartar, the gums become inflamed. If you suspect that your child has gum disease, these questions and answers may help you figure out what steps you should take next.

What are the most common causes of gum disease?

Gum disease is often caused by poor oral hygiene, but it can also be related to genetics. It is also common in cases where the teeth are very close together, causing food to become trapped.

What are the consequences of gum disease in children?

Children who experience gum disease may lose teeth over time, as the disease can damage tissue and bone under the teeth. Gum disease also comes along with plenty of pain and swelling.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

The earliest symptom of gum disease is redness and swelling of the gums, often followed by bleeding during a brushing. A symptom that develops over time is bad breath. These symptoms tend to emerge around puberty. This is because of the increase in hormones that occurs in those pre-teen and teenage years.

How do pediatric dentists treat gum disease in children?

If you realize that your child has gum disease, it is important to speak with a dentist about going in for a proper cleaning. If the condition worsens, you may need to consider a deep cleaning or even treatment with antibiotics. Surgery is required in severe cases, but it is not common in children.

How can you prevent gum disease in your child?

The best way to prevent gingivitis leading to gum disease in your child is to encourage him or her to have good oral hygiene. Brushing at least twice a day is a necessity for children, even those with only their baby teeth. Flossing and using mouthwash are both fantastic ways to keep up with oral health too. As a parent, you can be a good role model for your children from an early age and discuss the need for dental hygiene.

Don't forget about the necessity of regular dental visits either. Once your child has his or her first tooth, they need to be seeing a dentist twice each year. Early diagnosis is the best way to fight back against plaque, tartar, and gum disease.

For more information about gum disease in children, talk to a dentist like those at Dentistry For Children & Adolescents.