While gum disease most often strikes adults, it is not just an adult problem. Does your child complain of soreness when chewing? Are his or her gums red and irritated? Does he or she have a chronic case of bad breath? Do you see blood in the sink when your child brushes or flosses? If you answer yes to any of these, your child may be developing gum disease.
Gum disease is an infectious inflammation that targets the soft tissues and bones that support teeth. It is caused by the accrual of plaque, a white, sticky substance that harbors harmful bacteria. Plaque that is not removed through routine brushing and flossing gathers at the gum line and settles in. After a short time, it hardens into tartar and forces that bacteria deeper into the gums. This is when inflammation, soreness, and bleeding begin. An infection is established and gums begin to recede and make room for even more infection. If allowed to progress, gum disease is extremely destructive. It can completely erode gum tissue and bones and cause teeth to loosen and fall out.
Thankfully, most children do not get severe periodontal disease, but they often have chronic gingivitis. It is the first stage of the disease and therefore the most treatable. At the first sign of gingivitis, your child needs to see a dentist at one of our locations. Notable symptoms include:
- Bleeding from the gums
- Red, puffy, irritated gums
- Foul breath
- Gums that are pulling away from the teeth
- Lose teeth or teeth that seem to be shifting
Chronic gingivitis can be reversed with a professional cleaning and a robust home care routine. At South Texas Dental, we recommend that children brush after every meal with a toothpaste that has been fortified with fluoride. Flossing is critical to keep gums healthy. Children should be shown how to floss properly and do it when they go to bed at night. For total body health, including oral wellness, we strongly encourage a healthy diet that is low in sugar, junk food, and refined grains. Another way to help prevent gingivitis is to serve children water several times each day as it flushes away plaque and bacteria.
If you are looking for kid-friendly dental service, South Texas Dental is the place for your children. Call us today. We look forward to protecting your child’s smile for years to come.
Posted on Behalf of South Texas Dental