We often think of gum disease as being an adult issue, and that is usually true, especially in the most serious cases. However, because children don’t always have the best oral hygiene habits, it is possible for them to get gum disease, too. Fortunately, it’s usually easily prevented and treated if you know what to look for.
Types of Gum Disease
There are three main types of gum disease: chronic gingivitis, aggressive periodontitis, and generalized aggressive periodontitis. Of these three, chronic gingivitis is the most common in young children. If it is identified and treated early at Prairie Mall Dental Clinic, it can be reversed. However, if it goes untreated for too long, it may lead to a more severe condition.
Risk Factors and Signs of Gingivitis
There are certain conditions and behaviours that may predispose a child to gum disease. These include:
- Certain autoimmune disease
- Poor brushing and flossing habits
- Mouth breathing, which can lead to drying out the gums
- Clenching or grinding the teeth
Bad breath and swollen or bleeding gums are the first signs of gingivitis. This might happen especially after eating, brushing, or flossing. As it gets more severe, you may notice the gums receding from the teeth.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Since the primary cause of gum disease is a severe build-up of plaque, the best way to prevent it is with good dental hygiene. Start by making brushing fun for your young children! This will help them develop the habits that will keep their teeth clean and healthy.
You should also take them to visit your Grande Prairie dental office every six months (or as recommended by your dentist) for a professional cleaning and check-up. This also allows us to identify any early signs of gingivitis and get on top of it before it gets any worse.