While it’s pretty uncommon for kids to experience the same aggressive form of gum disease that wreaks havoc on many adult smiles — called periodontitis — it’s still possible for them to experience a more mild form of the infection.
In its early stages, gum disease is known as gingivitis. It’s an inflammation of the gum tissue that can cause discomfort and gingival bleeding, caused by the presence of harmful bacteria.
At Dentistry for Children, we offer comfortable prevention and intervention for gum disease so we can minimize the chance that the infection will spread or worsen. We offer routine checkups and cleanings, which help to establish great dental hygiene habits!
Read on to learn more about how we can work together to fight gum disease in ways that are tough on infection but gentle on little smiles! If you’re looking for specialized pediatric dental care in the Murray, UT area, give us a call! We have three convenient locations.
The Signs Of Gum Disease
When caught early, gum disease is fairly easy to cure. Unfortunately, it can be easy to miss the symptoms. It always helps to have a team of caring dental health professionals on your team, checking for signs of gingivitis during routine checkups every six months.
But here are some things you can keep an eye out for during at-home cleanings:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Gums that bleed when your child brushes or flosses
- Bad breath
- Receding gumline (a sign of more severe gum disease)
Older children and teens, in particular, should be watching out for these signs. That’s because increased levels of hormones — like progesterone and estrogen — can make adolescents more prone to gum disease. Generalized aggressive periodontitis, which affects a young adult’s entire mouth, is marked by significant bacterial buildup (in the form of both plaque and tartar). Eventually, periodontitis can affect the way teeth fit together and can cause teeth to loosen.
Bacterial buildup along the gumline is the primary driver of gum disease. So, it stands to reason that getting rid of the harmful bacteria is necessary if you’re looking to cure or manage gum disease.
Gingivitis can often be treated with a simple “deep-cleaning” procedure, such as scaling and root planing. In this procedure, the dentist gently cleans the area below the gumline and then smoothes the roots of teeth to discourage future bacterial buildup.
This also shows why routine checkups and cleanings are so important in the prevention of gum disease. These regular appointments give us the opportunity to remove plaque and tartar to reduce your risk of infection.
Preventing Gum Disease With Patient Education
At Dentistry for Children, we think patient education is a vital component of pediatric dental care! We want to establish great at-home habits so that your child can enjoy a healthy smile — both teeth and gums — for years to come.
Brushing twice a day for two minutes each time can decrease your likelihood of gum disease, as can flossing just once a day!
And of course, routine dental exams are a must if you’re trying to keep your child’s smile in great shape. If you’re looking for kid-friendly dental care around Murray, UT, give us a call at the location nearest you!