Although many people think of gum disease as a condition that only affects adults, teenagers and even younger children are also susceptible to gum disease (or its milder form, gingivitis). At Smile Town Dentistry in Langley, we provide gum disease therapy and prevention for children.
What is Gum Disease?
When food debris and bacteria build up on the teeth, they form a sticky film called plaque. When the plaque hardens, it forms tartar, all while even more plaque continues to form. The tartar and plaque infect the gums, resulting in their becoming red, sore and swollen. This is called gum disease.
If left gum disease is left untreated, it will worsen. It can cause gums to bleed during brushing and flossing, chronic bad breath, and loosening teeth. Eventually, the gums will form pockets, in which the plaque will continue to develop.
While most children don't experience serious gum disease as described above, they can develop a milder form of the disease called gingivitis.
What Causes Gum Disease?
most of the time, gum disease is caused by a combination of improper oral hygiene habits and poor dietary choices.
Teenagers can be more prone to gum disease as a result of hormonal changes they experience during puberty. These changes cause increaseed blood flow to the gums, making them more sensitive to food particles, irritation and plaque.
Gum Disease Therapy & Prevention
To prevent and treat gum disease, the most important step you can take is to encourage your child to maintain good oral hygiene habits. That means thorough brushing and flossing every day, and regular visits to the dentist for check ups and cleanings.
If your child develops gingivitis or gum disease, these good dental health care routines and habits will not only help to cure it, but will also prevent it from reoccurring.
An additional precaution you can take to minimize your child's risk of gum disease is limiting sugary foods, and providing healthy snacks and meals instead.
If the gum disease has progressed to the point that a healthy diet and good oral hygiene alone can't cure it, then treatment may include deep cleaning at the dentist's office, medications, oral rinses, antibiotics, and in severe cases, surgery.
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