Unfortunately, periodontal disease isn’t just something that can affect adults. Your children can also experience gum disease, and this can lead to some serious lifelong oral health problems. There are several different types of periodontal diseases that can affect children, and parents should be vigilant in promoting good oral hygiene to avoid them.
Types of Pediatric Periodontal Diseases
There are three main types of pediatric periodontal diseases:
- Chronic gingivitis. A common disease for children, chronic gingivitis typically causes the gums to bleed easily, turn red, and swell. This issue is treatable and preventable as long as your child practices good brushing and flossing.
- Aggressive periodontitis. If chronic gingivitis is not reversed, it can turn into periodontitis, a more aggressive and serious form of gum disease. This form typically affects the first of the molars and the incisors, and it is characterized by severe bone loss.
- Generalized aggressive periodontitis. This stage can begin around puberty and may involve the whole mouth. It is characterized by gum inflammation and heavy accumulation of plaque and tartar. Eventually, it will result in the loosening of the teeth.
Tips for Parents
Pediatric periodontal diseases will require early intervention in order to receive successful treatment. Therefore, it is important that you have your children in for their regular dental visits in order to receive a comprehensive periodontal exam. If your child has been diagnosed with an advanced form of gum disease, your dentist may suspect a systemic problem, and a medical evaluation with his pediatrician should be sought.
Establishing good oral health is the most important step to prevent against periodontal disease. You should start brushing your child’s teeth with toothpaste beginning at a year old, and regularly check out your child’s mouth for signs of gum disease. Likewise, as a parent, it is your responsibility to serve as a good role model for your child, and this will include oral hygiene habits. Please contact us if you have any questions about periodontal gum disease.