Does your child have sensitive gums that bleed when they brush or floss? if they do, then they may have some form of periodontal (gum) disease. But, never fear: gum disease can be diagnosed and treated by a pediatric dentist. Here’s the quick rundown of periodontal disease, sometimes called gum disease.
The Basics of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease manifests in a variety of ways. It occurs when plaque spreads below the gum line and irritates the gums. If periodontal disease is left untreated, then tissues and bone that hold teeth can be destroyed, resulting in tooth and bone loss. But that is only found in the most serious cases.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is mostly caused by poor oral hygiene, which can lead to gingivitis. Other common causes are diabetes, use of certain medications, a poor diet, and genetic predisposition.
But, most periodontal disease begins as simple gingivitis, which can be easily treated and prevented.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the most mild form of periodontal disease. It causes gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. If plaque is not removed by daily brushing and flossing, it produces toxins that can irritate the gum tissue, which causes gums to become red and puffy, and easily bleed. There is normally little or no discomfort associated with gingivitis, however, bleeding while brushing is quite common.
Gingivitis can lead to a variety of outcomes, such as gums that are recede away from the teeth, and chronic bad breath. More serious progressions can lead to tooth, gum and bone loss.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
Like cavities, periodontal disease can be prevented by maintaining a healthy oral routine, which includes brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time, and flossing once per day. You can help your child prevent periodontal disease by visiting their dentist once or twice per year for a routine oral checkup, and helping them maintain a healthier routine.
Detect Periodontal Disease Early
Luckily, a dentist or pediatric dentist can treat and completely reverse the effects of periodontal disease. As with most ailments, periodontal disease is best dealt with in its early stages, which makes an early diagnosis vital for successful treatment.
Schedule an appointment with our office so that we can evaluate your child’s oral health, and provide you with a treatment plan that will help you combat periodontal disease.