When it comes to taking care of your child’s dental health, ensure that everything is covered. Ensure that the child brushes his or her teeth twice a day to avoid any cavities. Consider arranging for a checkup at the orthodontist to check if braces are needed. Insist on having the child wear a mouthguard while playing sports as a form of dental protection. Parents, however, may not have considered protecting their children from periodontal disease, also known as gum disease.
Periodontal disease refers to a chronic bacterial infection of the affected gums, as well as the bone that is surrounding and supporting the teeth. It causes gums to become swollen, red, and tender. If left untreated for a long period, periodontal disease can eventually result in tooth loss.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
We often view periodontal disease as a dental problem commonly faced by adults. Did you know that children and teens are also at risk for periodontal disease as well? There are several possible reasons as to why the child may develop periodontal disease:
- Poor dental hygiene
To get rid of any plaque and bacteria that causes gingivitis, individuals should ideally spend two minutes twice a day to brush their teeth. It is also important to floss to get rid of any plaque and bacteria in hard-to-reach parts around the teeth.
The hormones that cause puberty could also result in gums becoming irritated more easily when they are exposed to plaque. This period is an important time to be particularly proactive and conscious with dental health and oral routine.
- Medical conditions
Medical conditions like diabetes could result in an increased risk of periodontal disease. When visiting the dentist, make sure to give a complete and accurate overview of the health of the child. With the information, they will be able to let parents know if there are any potential complications for the dental health of their children and how to prevent them.
Although relatively uncommon, children and teens are also at risk of more serious periodontal disease. For instance, aggressive periodontitis can lead to a loss of bone and connective tissue around affected teeth, resulting in loose teeth and even loss of tooth. How can we play our part to prevent our children from developing periodontal disease? Here are some key symptoms that should not be ignored:
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath that stays even after brushing teeth
- Any puffiness or redness in the gums
- Gums that are either receding or pulling away from the teeth
The most effective form of treatment for childhood periodontal disease is prevention. With careful flossing and brushing and regular checkups for professional dental cleaning services, the child will be at a much lower risk of developing gum disease. Early diagnosis of periodontal disease will provide you and your children peace of mind.
Dr. Alex Rubinov is an experienced dental practitioner in New York who can offer a wide range of dental services, including professional cleaning for children. Contact us at (718) 253-0800 for an appointment.