Periodontal Disease and Children: Understanding Risks & Prevention Measures

Most people don’t think of children getting seriously ill or suffering from an array of diseases. It’s because children are young, full of life, and tend to bounce back easily. But, of course, the disease does affect children.

This includes the more commonly known diseases like chickenpox and measles, as well as the lesser-known issues, such as periodontal disease.

The simple fact is that children can suffer from periodontal disease, the risk factors are the same in children as in adults.

In fact, there are several types of periodontal disease commonly found in children:

Chronic Gingivitis

This is surprisingly common. It causes the gum tissues to swell and they will bleed easily. They’re also likely to be a deeper shade of red than normal.

The good news is that it can be treated via regular brushing and flossing. If it’s not dealt with it will lead to bigger issues.

Aggressive Periodontitis

This is generally found in teenagers and young adults, not younger children. The disease usually picks on the molars and first incisors. It’s often the consequence of untreated chronic gingivitis although the condition can happen without warning.

This type of disease attacks the bones surrounding the teeth, eroding the bone. This causes loose teeth which are likely to fall out.

Generalized Periodontitis

Children generally suffer from this as they enter puberty and their hormones are running wild. You’ll notice a large quantity of plaque in the mouth and inflamed gums, which can bleed easily. If left untreated the bones will also erode and the teeth will become loose, potentially falling out.

Preventative Steps

The key to avoiding or even treating periodontal diseases is good oral hygiene. You can use toothpaste from as young as 12 months. The earlier you start the easiest it is for your children to form a habit. Of course, they need to brush properly to eliminate as much plaque and tartar as possible. They should also floss as soon as they are capable of doing so.

It is important that children don’t brush too hard, this can damage the gums and even the enamel on the teeth. In turn, your child will increase the risk of teeth problems in the future.

Another vital step in the preventative and treatment process is to see a reputable dentist, such as this dentist Palmyra, on a regular basis. That means once or twice a year. They will identify issues and help you to deal with them before they becoming a bigger problem.

You can also make sure that your children see you as a role model. If they know that you brush your teeth regularly and visit the dentist they will find it easier to do the same thing.

Additional Tip

You should note that a child with advanced periodontal disease is more likely to have a systemic disease. If your child fits this bill you should see your doctor to get a complete workup and ensure everything is okay with your child.