It is estimated that up to half of the adults in the United States have some form of gum disease. As we age, our risk of developing gum problems increases. Does that mean that children are invulnerable to gum disease in Colorado Springs? No. Although it is uncommon for young people to suffer severe oral health problems due to gum disease, it can happen. Let’s talk about how you can recognize signs and symptoms of gum disease in your child and take steps to protect them from this serious condition.
Recognizing Gum Disease
Gum disease has two main stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is relatively mild. Symptoms might include red, swollen gums, bad breath, and gums that bleed easily during brushing and flossing. Gingivitis does not cause any permanent damage. However, if the gum disease progresses to periodontitis, permanent bone loss in the jaw will occur. Loose and/or sensitive teeth and noticeable gum recession are two common signs of periodontitis.
Preventing Gum Disease
Gum disease occurs when bacteria-filled plaque invades the gum tissue, causing it to become inflamed. Logically, then, the key to preventing gum disease in your children is making sure they know how to fight plaque accumulation. They should:
- Stick to a good oral hygiene routine. Be sure your child knows proper brushing and flossing technique. Also, make sure they have all the tools necessary to maintain a clean mouth, including a soft-bristled toothbrush, fluoridated toothpaste, and dental floss. If your child is not motivated to brush and floss, you may have to use loving but firm “scare tactics” to let them know what could happen if they continue to neglect their oral hygiene.
- Avoid excessive sugar. Try to keep your pantry and fridge stocked with low- or no-sugar treats, like cheese, nuts, and vegetables. Make things like candy and soda rare treats rather than a normal part of your household’s diet.
Treating Gum Disease
If you believe your child has gum disease, or their children’s dentist in Colorado Springs voices concern about their gum health, bring your child to a periodontist. A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in procedures that relate to the gums; they are able to provide services for both children and adults. The periodontist will evaluate your child’s condition and make a treatment recommendation. Sometimes, reversing gum disease is as simple as performing a deep cleaning of the mouth. In other cases, surgery may be necessary.
Your child’s gums are an essential part of their smile and their well-being! Be aware of any indication that your child may have gum disease so you can seek treatment for them as soon as possible.
About the Author
Dr. Karl Lackler is an accomplished dentist and periodontist; he is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontics. He has been in private practice for over 15 years, along with his business partner, Dr. Geoff Haradon. If you believe your child is suffering from gingivitis or periodontitis, Dr. Lackler and our team would be happy to help get their oral health back on track. Contact Rocky Mountain Periodontal Specialists at 719-574-4867 to learn more about our services.