Gum disease and tooth loss are most commonly associated with older adults; however, children and teens can also suffer from gum disease if they do not take care of their teeth. The problems associated with gum disease can include tooth loss, which no one wants to endure at a young age.
Chronic gingivitis is the most common form of periodontal disease found in children. Its symptoms include inflammation and bleeding of the gums. Gingivitis is mild and is treatable with a regular routine of brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings from a dentist. If left untreated, however, it can progress into a more severe form of periodontal disease.
Aggressive and generalized aggressive periodontitis is found in teens and young adults and is characterized by bone loss, inflammation of the gums, and loose teeth. These forms of gum disease need to be treated by a periodontist.
Parents who are worried about periodontal disease in their children should look out for the following signs and symptoms:
- Bleeding gums during brushing or flossing
- Puffy or swollen gums
- Gum recession
- Chronic bad breath (even after brushing and flossing)
Risk Factors and Causes
Teens going through puberty can be at an increased risk for developing gum disease due to increased hormonal levels in the body. Hormones may increase blood flow to the gums, increasing sensitivity and also causing them to swell.
Children with Downs Syndrome or type II diabetes have also been shown to be at an increased risk for developing gum disease.
Parents must take an active role in preventing and treating gum disease in their children. Establishing good dental hygiene habits early is the first step. In addition, parents should schedule regular dental screenings for their children.
If you are interested in learning more about periodontitis or if you are interested in a screening for you or your children, contact Gallardo and Lamas Periodontics and Implant Dentistry of Miami, Florida, today at 305-447-1447.