Blood on toothbrush and in the sink due to bleeding gums, a sign of gum disease

Are Kids at Risk for Gum Disease?

February 26, 2022 7:40 am

We all have many kinds of bacteria in our mouths. Harmful oral bacteria accumulate into a sticky film called plaque. When this bacteria eats sugar, it produces toxins that erode tooth enamel and irritate and inflame the gums. If not regularly removed, plaque hardens into tartar, which traps more bacteria and further irritates the gums.

A buildup of plaque and tartar can cause an infection in the gums known as gum disease. There are two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is usually mild and easily reversed with improved oral hygiene. If the disease isn’t treated, it develops into periodontitis, a more serious infection.

Who Is at Risk for Gum Disease?

Patients of all ages who don’t brush or floss well enough are more likely to get gum disease. Putting off professional cleanings and exams at the dentist and consuming a diet high in simple sugars, starches, processed foods, and juice can also increase risk. Does your child have an underlying health condition like diabetes or an autoimmune disease? That can raise their risk too.

What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?

Gum disease is characterized by gums that are swollen, tender, painful, prone to bleeding, and/or abnormally red. Additionally, watch out for serious red flags like gum recession, persistent bad breath, premature loss of baby teeth or loose permanent teeth, and changes in jaw or bite alignment.

Periodontal Therapy at Brooks Pediatric Dentistry

Our Brooks Pediatric Dentistry team can diagnose gum disease early. If identified in the gingivitis stage, the disease will go away after a child receives a professional cleaning and improves their brushing, flossing, and diet at home. More advanced cases will require antibiotics or a deep cleaning.

If you have questions about gum disease or want to schedule an appointment for your child, please contact us today!


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