Gum Disease in Children

Young girl preventing gum disease by brushing her teeth.
Caption: Creating healthy habits early will reduce the risk of developing gum disease.

Periodontal disease can occur due to a number of factors, even in children. Generally, periodontitis begins with plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky substance that develops when bacteria mix with carbohydrates (sugary and starchy foods). Plaque eventually hardens and turns into tartar. Both plaque and tartar cause the inflammation reaction in gums that leads to gum disease. If it isn’t treated quickly and safely, deep infections can occur that will result in gum recession, tooth loss, and even jaw bone deterioration.

The Main Types of Periodontal Disease that Affect Children

Generalized Aggressive Periodontitis

This type of periodontal disease usually begins either within childhood or in puberty. A rare disease, it infects the entire mouth and can cause severe damage to the bone. It can also result in tooth loss if not treated quickly. A clear sign of this condition is a heavy accumulation of plaque and gum inflammation.

Chronic Gingivitis

The best way to prevent this condition is to teach children the importance of brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly. If it does occur, however, it will cause the gum tissue to bleed and swell. This type can easily advance to more serious forms of the disease if not treated as soon as possible.

Necrotizing Periodontal Disease

One of the rarer forms of periodontal disease, it generally occurs in children that are suffering from a suppressed immune system. This aggressive infection kills gum tissue and tooth ligaments.

Aggressive Periodontitis

Found in teenagers, this form of periodontal disease affects the incisors and molars. It is caused by plaque and calculus.

What Are The Main Signs of Gum Disease?

  • Bleeding while flossing or brushing
  • Receding gums
  • Swollen and sensitive gums
  • Consistent bad breath
  • Changes in jaw alignment or bit
  • loose teeth
  • White pus between the gums and teeth

How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?

The type of gum disease will be determined by our dentist who will decide the best course of action after an examination and evaluating your child’s health history. Dental Partners of Boston guarantees the most efficient, safe, and appropriate treatment for your child’s needs. We understand the importance of early diagnosis and treatment to prevent gum disease from getting worse.

From recommending regular cleanings to deep cleanings, antibiotic treatments, and occasionally surgery, there are a number of treatments available for your child.

What Can Parents Do?

Establishing good dental habits early. Teach your child the importance of regular brushing and flossing. You should also schedule regular dental check-ups. Check your child’s mouth when you are home for any signs of plaque buildup, gum swelling, or receding gums. If you see any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment as soon as possible to diagnose and treat the issue before it gets worse.