Periodontal disease is one of the most common dental problems in the United States. It is estimated that nearly half of Americans are affected by gum disease (as it is known at its early stages) every year. This disease is easily cured but if left unattended, can lead to serious complications over time. Gum disease affects children as well and parents must always be very careful to ensure that their kids are not affected. Here is everything you need to know about this condition and how to detect it in your child.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal or gum disease occurs when bacteria infect the gums that hold the teeth in place. The bacteria destroy the enamel as well as the dentin. This exposes the nerve ending of the tooth as well as leading to cavities. As the disease advances, it causes the gums to recede and get inflamed. Eventually, the affected tooth is likely to be lost and the condition can lead to more complicated medical problems. At this advanced stage, it is more often referred to as periodontal disease.
Periodontal Disease In Children
When it comes to young children, gum disease can be hard to detect. This is because unless the tooth is in pain, the child is unlikely to notice any other symptoms. This means then that the parents must always be vigilant to ensure that any infections are caught early on and are dealt with in time. Some of the ways that you can tell if your child is suffering from gum diseases are as follows. They include bleeding gums that may be noticeable when you brush your child’s teeth. The gums may also change color from the bright pink color of healthy hums to being red and puffy. You may also notice that the child’s gums are receding away from the teeth. This gives the impression that the child’s teeth are growing longer but they only seem that way because more of the tooth is exposed. You may also notice that your child has bad breath regardless of whatever interventions that you make. As the problem advances, you may also notice that the child has loose teeth. At this point, the child would also be complaining of pain and sensitivity. This is because most of the gum and enamel would have been destroyed thus exposing the nerve roots.
Keeping The Disease Away
One of the leading causes of gum disease in children is poor dental hygiene. Without constant cleaning and flossing, food particles build up between teeth and encourage the formation of plaque. With regular cleaning, this build-up is avoided and the teeth stay healthy. Another way that you can keep your child safe from gum disease is to ensure that they eat healthy food. In particular, avoid unhealthy food such as candy and fizzy drinks. Some of these have a huge amount of sugar that encourages bacterial growth. Fizzy drinks also contain acid which corrodes the enamel and makes it easy for the bacteria to cause cavities. Finally, ensure that your children have regular dental exams by a dentist so that these problems can be fixed early enough. Dr. Alex Rubinov is an experienced dental practitioner in New York. The practice offers a range of services including teeth whitening, smile makeovers, cosmetic dentistry, and orthodontics, to name but a few. Contact the team at (718) 253-0800 for an appointment.