Gum Disease 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.

Aggressive periodontitis is a form of severe gum disease that can affect children and young adults who are otherwise healthy. It is a condition that often runs in families and affects mainly the first molars and the incisors (front teeth) and involves very little plaque and calculus buildup. If left untreated the teeth can lose so much bone that they become loose.

High Frenum or a frenum pull is something that commonly appears in young children. The frenum is a small fold of tissue or muscle that attaches the attached gum tissue (the pink gum tissue next to your teeth that covers your jawbone) to the lips, cheek, or tongue. When the frenum is attached to the gum tissue between the front two teeth on the top or the bottom it can result in a space between those teeth or in gum recession. Your pediatric dentist may recommend a procedure called a frenectomy. You can ready more about it here

Puberty and Periodontal Disease: Hormonal changes related to puberty can put teens at greater risk for getting periodontal disease. During puberty, an increased level of hormones, such as progesterone and possibly estrogen, cause increased blood circulation to the gums. This may cause an increase in the gum’s sensitivity and lead to a greater reaction to any irritation, including food particles and plaque. During this time, the gums may become swollen, turn red and feel tender. Because of the tendency to swell and become inflamed it is very important to follow a good at-home dental hygiene regimen, including regular brushing and flossing, and regular dental care. In some cases, a dental professional may recommend periodontal therapy to help prevent permanent damage to the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth.

Advice for parents: Early diagnosis is important for successful treatment of periodontal diseases. 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.

To learn more about good oral hygiene habits, visit or contact us for an evaluation and professional cleaning.
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