Many people mistakenly think that gum disease is a problem for adults or people who may be genetically predisposed to it. While it is more common in adults, diseases of the gum can affect children as well.
Gum disease is a chronic inflammation of the gums that can progress to impact the soft tissue and bones that support and hold the teeth in place. Gum disease is typically diagnosed in three stages from mild to severe: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.
The condition develops when plaque builds up on the surface of teeth and around gum lines. The plaque will irritate the gums and may cause any of the following symptoms:
- Tenderness and swelling
- Gums that bleed easily when flossing or brushing
- Bad breath that isn’t made better with brushing
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth
- Loose permanent teeth
- Pus pockets around the gums
The form of gum disease that most often strikes children is gingivitis. Poor dental hygiene is the leading cause, while wearing braces and a poor diet are also leading contributors. Some studies also show that puberty increases blood flow, which makes gums more sensitive and vulnerable to gum disease.
The good news is that gingivitis can be prevented and treated effectively. At Springhurst Hills Dentistry, we’ve developed some recommendations to help with the prevention of gingivitis or periodontitis. They are:
- Watch as your child brushes his or her teeth to ensure that they are spending enough time and that the brush is making contact with the fronts and backs of each tooth.
- Show your child how to floss between each tooth and around the gums.
- Make sure your child is using fluoridated toothpaste.
- Remove excessive sugar and refined grains from the diet.
- Make water a regular beverage as it helps keep plaque from sticking to the teeth.
- Model good oral hygiene for children.
- Adhere to a twice per year schedule to visit us for a thorough examination and professional cleaning.
At Springhurst Hills Dentistry, we provide excellent preventative and corrective care and take pride in serving our patients. Call us today to schedule your appointment.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Lan Tran, Springhurst Hills Dentistry
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