There are certain illnesses, diseases, and conditions that people often only associate with growing older. It is often assumed that dental problems affect those in their advanced years, but this is a common misconception that often makes dental problems in children worse than they should be. Gum disease can affect people of all ages. In children, gum disease often presents itself with the same symptoms that adults experience: red, swollen, tender gums; receding gum lines; gums that bleed easily; and persistent bad breath. If you child is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to take your child to the dentist immediately. The longer symptoms of gum disease persist, the more serious oral health issues will become.
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. Gum disease is an incredibly dangerous oral health condition because it does not simply affect the gums. The gums are living tissues that have a direct blood supply to the heart and rest of the body. If an infection inside the mouth lingers, it will begin to pass into the blood stream and be carried to other vital organs. Genetics play a large role in determining whether children are at risk for developing gum disease. While everyone on earth has probably experienced a mild form of gingivitis (typically due to a cold, the flu, or hormonal fluctuations), gum disease is a much more serious condition. Children whose parents have been plagued by gum disease are much more likely to have a higher percentage of bacteria inside their own mouths that will lead to increased gum infections. Parents who are prone to gum disease should speak with their children’s dentists for ways to protect their young mouths from developing gum disease.
Hormonal changes often affect adolescents and teens, making them vulnerable to gum disease. Fluctuations in hormone levels can leave the gums sensitive, easily irritated, and vulnerable to infection. It is important for parents of teenagers to remember to encourage their teens to properly care for their teeth and mouth while they are also learning to cope with other changes in their bodies.
Poor dental hygiene is the leading cause of gum disease in people of all ages. Naturally occurring bacteria are present inside every human mouth, and cleaning these bacteria away through daily flossing and brushing are essential. When good oral hygiene habits are practiced daily, and when regular dental appointments are made a priority, the risk of gum disease in children is greatly reduced.
Contact Group Health Dental today to schedule an appointment. We are here to meet the dental needs of your entire family.