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Is Your Child at Risk of Gum Disease?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 10:20
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kids dentistry NYC

Most parents and caregivers view tooth decay as being the primary risk to their child’s teeth. People tend to think of gum disease as being an adult disease. Our pediatric dental office wishes this was the case, as it is perfectly possible for children to develop various forms of gum disease.

Chronic Gingivitis

This form of gum disease is quite common in kids. It can cause the gum tissues to bleed and to swell up and turn red. Gingivitis is an early form of gum disease and is both preventable and fully treatable, provided your child receives good professional dental care and adopts a regular routine of thoroughly brushing and flossing their teeth at home. It is vital to catch gum disease at this stage and before it can develop into a much more serious condition called periodontitis.

Aggressive Periodontitis

This can develop in children and teenagers who do not have any other health or dental problems. It tends to affect the first molars and incisors and can cause severe loss of jawbone. While this condition affects permanent teeth, it is possible that bone loss around a child’s primary or milk teeth could be an early indication of this disease. Although gum disease is most often caused by a buildup of plaque and calculus (hardened plaque) this doesn’t seem to be the case with this type of periodontitis as there are often minimal plaque deposits.

Generalized Aggressive Periodontitis

This condition involves the entire mouth and may begin around puberty when hormonal changes can increase the sensitivity of gum tissues towards bacteria. The increased level of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone can also increase the amount of blood circulation to the gums, amplifying the gums sensitivity and any reaction to plaque. This condition creates a lot of inflammation and kids with generalized aggressive periodontitis are more likely to have a significant buildup of plaque and calculus. Without the correct treatment, teeth can eventually become loose.

There are lots of different symptoms that can occur due to gum disease and which include bleeding gums during tooth brushing and flossing or gums that bleed at other times. You might notice their gums begin to look puffy and swollen or are bright red. With significant periodontitis, the gums can begin to recede and your child may have constant bad breath. It is best to consult a professional. 

How We Can Help

Every time your child visits our dental office to see one of our pediatric dentists then we will check their gums very carefully for any signs of this disease. If we see any of these symptoms then we can suggest the most appropriate treatment. We can also talk to your child about the importance of good dental hygiene, particularly during their teenage years. During this time it is vital that they follow a good oral hygiene routine and our friendly dental team can show them the very best way to brush and floss.

Early diagnosis is vital when treating gum disease so if it has been a while since your child visited a kids dentistry NYC office then now could be a good time to book a comprehensive checkup and professional cleaning for them.

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