Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious infection of the gums and tissues that support the teeth. It develops when bacteria build up in the mouth and form plaque on the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to pain, tooth loss, and even systemic health problems in some cases. Gum disease treatment is vital.
Children are particularly vulnerable to gum disease because they often don’t practice good oral hygiene. This can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. Wambaugh Dental promotes healthy oral hygiene habits in children that can keep their teeth and gums healthy throughout their lives—call 281.501.7849 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It happens when bacteria in plaque build up on your teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky substance that forms on teeth from saliva, food particles, and bacteria. If it isn’t removed through regular brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar, creating a bacterial film around the gum line and leading to inflammation.
Common signs of gum disease include:
- Redness and swelling of the gums
- Receding gums
- Bad breath or taste in the mouth
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Loose teeth
- Changes in how teeth fit together when biting down
If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss, destruction of the jawbone, and other serious health impacts.
The good news is that gum disease is preventable. Regular brushing and flossing are essential for removing plaque before it hardens into tartar. It’s also important to see your dentist regularly so they can detect and treat any signs of gum disease early on. Professional cleanings are especially helpful in removing plaque that has hardened below the gum line, which you may be unable to reach with a toothbrush or floss.
Is There a Cure for Gum Disease?
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for gum disease; however, there are treatments available that can help manage the condition and prevent further damage. The most common treatment for gum disease is deep cleaning (scaling and root planing), which involves removing plaque buildup from below the gum line in order to reduce inflammation and stop further progression of the disease. Additionally, medications such as antibiotics may be prescribed to help kill bacteria and control infection.
Other treatments for gum disease may include soft tissue grafts, which can help reduce the recession of the gums and restore lost gum tissues. Additionally, laser technology has been used in some cases to treat periodontal pockets and remove harmful bacteria from the mouth.
It’s important to note that even with treatment, gum disease is a chronic condition that requires regular maintenance, such as proper oral hygiene habits like brushing twice daily and flossing once a day, as well as regular visits to the dentist for check-ups and professional cleanings. By following these steps, it is possible to manage gum disease and prevent further damage.
How Susceptible Are Children to Gum Disease?
Children are especially susceptible to gum disease due to their developing immune systems, which can make them more prone to infection. Additionally, children may not have the same level of oral hygiene habits as older individuals, making them more likely to develop periodontal problems such as plaque buildup and inflammation. Poor nutrition is also a risk factor for gum disease in children, as certain nutrients are essential for maintaining healthy gums and teeth.
For these reasons, parents must ensure their child has good oral health care practices in place from an early age, including brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing regularly. Regular dental check-ups are also recommended so that any issues can be identified before they progress into something more serious like gum disease. With proper care, children can maintain healthy gums and teeth for life.
Early Signs of Gum Disease in Children
Gum disease is a serious condition that can have long-term effects on oral health. In children, it’s important to be aware of the early signs so that appropriate treatment can be sought. Some common early symptoms of gum disease in children include:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Discomfort when brushing or flossing
- Bleeding during brushing and flossing
- Bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Gums pulling away from teeth (receding gums)
- Loose adult teeth in a child’s mouth
- Formation of deep pockets between the gums and teeth
It’s important to note that these symptoms can also indicate an infection, allergies, or other conditions. If your child is experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s best to contact a dentist as soon as possible for an evaluation and appropriate treatment. Early detection and treatment are key in preventing further complications from gum disease.
Preventing Childhood Gum Disease
Preventing gum disease in children is an integral part of maintaining good oral health. It is important to establish good hygiene habits early on to ensure that your child’s teeth and gums stay healthy. Here are some tips for preventing gum disease in children:
- Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Make sure to brush all surfaces of the teeth, including the back molars and along the gum line.
- Floss every day using a floss holder or special flossing device designed for young children if needed. Floss at least once per day, but more often if possible.
- Monitor your child’s diet and limit sugary snacks and drinks.
- Make sure your child is getting enough calcium in their diet. Calcium helps keep teeth and gums healthy, so foods like cheese, yogurt, almonds, sardines, and leafy greens are all good sources of calcium.
- Have your child visit their dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. Professional dental care can help to identify any early signs of gum disease that could be caught and treated before it becomes a more serious issue.
By following these simple steps, you can help ensure your child has strong, healthy teeth and gums for life.
How to Treat Gum Disease in Children
If your child has been diagnosed with gum disease, the best thing to do is seek treatment immediately. Wambaugh Dental offers a variety of treatments for gum disease in children, including:
- Deep cleaning (scaling and root planing)
- Medication or antibiotic therapy to reduce bacteria and inflammation
- Soft tissue grafts to restore receding gums
- Laser treatments to remove harmful bacteria
It’s also important to work with your child on establishing good oral hygiene habits that can help prevent gum disease from recurring. This includes brushing twice daily, flossing at least once daily, and limiting sugary snacks and drinks. Regular dental check-ups are also essential to monitor the condition of your child’s teeth and gums.
Teaching Children Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits at Wambaugh Dental
At Wambaugh Dental, we believe that teaching your children healthy oral hygiene habits today can help them prevent gum disease tomorrow. We understand that instilling these habits can be difficult, but they will help your children’s teeth stay healthy and strong for years to come. Call 281.501.7849 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment today.