Most Common Gingivitis Seen in Children?

If your child’s gums bleed when they’re flossing or brushing, this could mean that they have gum disease. The primary symptoms of gum disease are bleeding while cleaning the teeth, swelling or visible irritation of the gum tissue, chronic bad breath, and receding gum tissue. Children don’t get gum disease often, but it is still possible for younger people to fall prey to this bacterial infection. Thankfully, gum disease can be intercepted with proper oral hygiene, and when gum disease is treated early, it can be reversed and prevented from recurring with adherence to healthy oral hygiene habits. It’s important to establish these healthy habits early on. Your child’s dentist can make sure you have the right size toothbrush for your child and can help you and your child learn how to brush properly, and you can make sure your child brushes twice a day, flosses daily, and visits the dentist regularly.

In its earliest stages, gum disease, which is also called gingivitis, is characterized by inflammation of the gum tissue. This inflammation is caused by the bacteria that colonize the surfaces of the teeth, especially along the gum line, and may be accompanied by other symptoms like bleeding while brushing or flossing. Sometimes, however, gingivitis in its earlier stages has no noticeable symptoms, which is why it’s so important to take your child to see a dentist routinely throughout their youth, maintaining solid habits. In addition, only dental professionals can clean the teeth as thoroughly as is necessary to truly combat gum disease. When caught early, gum disease can be reversed, but when chronic gingivitis is left untreated, it can become more severe, infecting a greater amount of oral tissue and gradually destroying the structures that support the teeth and hold them in the mouth.

This advanced infection is called periodontitis. Periodontitis is rare in younger children. Dramatic hormone fluctuations, like those experienced in puberty, can cause inflammation in the gums and lead to generalized aggressive periodontitis, which is most common around adolescence. This disease is characterized by an excessive, sometimes even visible, accumulation of plaque and tartar on the teeth, and it can lead to tooth loss and bone loss when ignored. Aggressive periodontitis, which is a very rare type of periodontitis that develops rapidly, shows up most often in the teenage years, and it is unusual in that it is not often preceded by a noticeable build up of bacterial plaque or the calcified plaque known as tartar. The primary symptom of aggressive periodontitis is the loss of the bone that supports the molars or the incisors. Research has indicated that aggressive periodontitis is related to genetic factors, including immune response, salivary makeup, and tissue composition, and when people with these genetic traits introduce detrimental elements like bacteria or the chemicals in tobacco, the disease progresses rapidly and destructively. Any type of periodontitis can be treated with surgical methods, dental deep cleanings, and antibiotic therapies and should be addressed promptly, and with continued effective oral hygiene habits, additional destruction can be staved off.

Minors and Gingivitis