Gum Disease in Children
Gum disease can affect individuals of all ages, including children. Below are the different types of periodontal disease in children:
- Chronic gingivitis is quite common in children. Gum tissue swells, become red and can bleed easily. Gingivitis is preventable and treatable through routine brushing and flossing, as well as professional dental treatment. When left untreated, gingivitis can progress into severe forms of periodontal disease.
- Aggressive periodontitis affects young children who are otherwise in good oral health. Localized periodontitis is commonly found in teenagers and young adults, affecting mainly the first molars and incisors. This form of periodontitis can lead to loss of alveolar bone.
- Generalized aggressive periodontitis can begin during puberty and involve the entire oral cavity. Inflammation of the gums is apparent and heavy accumulations of plaque and calculus are present. Teeth gradually become loose when this condition is left untreated.
There are four basic signs associated with the development of periodontal disease in children, including:
- Bleeding: Gums bleed during brushing and flossing
- Irritation: Soft tissue appears to be swollen, bright, and red
- Recession: Gum tissue can begin to recede from teeth, exposing roots
- Bad breath: Persistent bad breath that is present after brushing and flossing
Hormonal changes that occur during puberty can place adolescents at a higher risk for developing periodontal disease. An increased level of hormones during puberty causes an increase in blood flow to gum tissue. Gum sensitivity is then heightened, leading to a higher reaction to irritation to food particles and plaque. During this period, gum tissue may become swollen, turn red, or feel tender.
Good at home oral hygiene regimen is recommended for teens. Regular brushing and flossing is advised, and routine visits to the dentist can help keep periodontal disease at bay. Early diagnosis allows for early intervention. It is important for teens to obtain comprehensive periodontal examinations as a part of their routine dental visits.
Our Los Angeles periodontics expert can provide you with more information.