Should Children Worry About Gum Disease?

When it comes to your child’s oral health, there are some worries that are common, and rightly so. For example, cavities are one of the biggest concerns that could develop for your child’s smile, and many common children’s dental treatments focus on helping to prevent them. Some concerns, however, may be less common, such as the development of gingivitis and its progression into gum disease. Today, we examine how children might develop gum disease and what it might look like in your child’s gums, as well as how we can help your child protect their smile from it if it develops.

What does gum disease mean?

Part of the reason why cavities are so common for children is because they develop from oral bacteria buildup (in the form of plaque and tartar). Gum disease is also the productive of oral bacteria buildup, though the bacteria that cause it tend to work their way underneath the gums. As a progressive condition, more severe forms of gum disease are most common in adults, and it can become a significant risk factor in experiencing adult tooth loss. At first, however, gum disease develops as a more discreet condition known as gingivitis, which may develop in your child’s gums and potentially become more serious in later years.

If it develops in your child’s gums

Whether it develops in childhood or adulthood, the progression of gum disease is similar. Gingivitis describes an infection in the gum tissues caused by excessive oral bacteria, and as such, it can often cause changes in the appearance and texture of the gums. You may notice your child’s gums becoming slightly swollen and irritated in one or more areas, or notice bleeding mixed in with their saliva when they brush and floss their teeth. While this may occur from over-aggressive brushing and flossing, it could also be an indication that your child has developed gingivitis, and it’s worth making sure by having your child’s dentist carefully examine their gums.

Protecting your child’s smile from it

If your child starts to show signs of gingivitis, then it’s important to determine if gingivitis is the cause and address it as soon as possible. This can take a professional dental examination to assess the health of your child’s gum tissues, and if necessary, a deeper cleaning (known as periodontal cleaning) to remove bacteria buildup from underneath their gums. Addressing gingivitis as soon as possible may reverse the condition, or get it under control before it’s able to cause any significant damage to your child’s oral and periodontal tissues.

Protect your child’s smile from gum disease

Though it might not be as common as tooth decay and cavities, gingivitis can signal the start of more serious long-term trouble for your child’s oral health. To learn more,  or to schedule an appointment, call Pediatric Dental Care at Casa Linda in Dallas, TX today at 214-321-4880. We proudly serve patients who live around Casa Linda and all surrounding Dallas communities.