Is Gum Disease Common in Children?

When most individuals think about oral health, the first thing that comes to mind is their teeth. While your child’s teeth are vital, so are their gums! Your child’s gums support and retain their teeth in place. The gums also operate as a protective coating, keeping harmful germs at bay. If the gums are not cared for, they might develop gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. While Monterey gum disease is more frequent in adults, it may also affect children. The good news is that youngsters are far more likely to suffer the milder form of gingivitis, which is curable.

Causes of gum disease

Gum disease in children can be caused by various factors, including:

1.      Poor oral care

The leading cause of gum disease in children (and adults) is plaque buildup when plaque is not eliminated thoroughly with brushing and flossing. Once plaque hardens into tartar, it cannot be removed with an ordinary toothbrush at home. It can only be removed by the specialist instruments used at the dentist’s office during cleanings. In addition to the plaque, if food particles become caught in the gums and are not removed with brushing and flossing, discomfort or infection of the gums can occur.

2.      Medications

Certain drugs cause dry mouth, characterized by a considerable reduction in saliva production. Saliva is essential for cleaning away plaque, germs, and food debris and adjusting the pH of the mouth. Other drugs can cause aberrant gum tissue development, increasing the risk of gum disease in youngsters.

3.      Diet

A diet high in sugar and carbohydrates or lacking essential minerals and vitamins for healthy teeth and gums may increase a child’s risk of getting gum disease. Because bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars and carbohydrates, this occurs. Furthermore, dietary inadequacies might make it more difficult for the body to fight infection and restore gum tissue.

4.      Mouth breathing

Mouth breathing causes persistent dry mouth, which raises the risk of gingivitis.

5.      Clenching and grinding of the teeth

Excessive clenching and grinding can promote gum recession and increase the number of places for germs to accumulate. Teeth grinding in children is sometimes visible. Other times, it is a nighttime habit that you are not conscious of. If your child wakes up with a painful jaw, they may be clenching or grinding their teeth.

Treatment options for children with gum disease

A thorough cleaning at your pediatric dental clinic and a devoted home care program will usually eliminate soft plaque, tartar (hardened plaque), and germs to clear up gingivitis. Seeking treatment at the first indications of gum disease in children increases the likelihood that a doctor will be able to swiftly and effectively eliminate the condition and restore their gums to good health. Antibiotics may be required in the case of a more severe gum infection in a youngster or gum disease that has progressed to periodontitis. In these circumstances, gum disease therapy in children may also include more intense dental cleanings and treatments such as prescription mouthwash. Surgical techniques are seldom advised to halt disease development and eradicate an active infection.

Gum disease might indicate your child’s overall health, but it starts in their mouth. Take immediate action to brush and floss thoroughly. If you suspect your kid has gum disease, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Call Perio & Implant Centers of Monterey Bay – Silicon Valley or book an appointment online to learn how gum disease impacts your children.  

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