Gingivitis in Children
Gingivitis is a type of infection that impacts a person's mouth. We also refer to gingivitis as periodontal disease or gum disease because it primarily impacts the gums, deep tissues, and ancillary bones that support the teeth. Children, because they are growing and replacing their baby teeth, commonly see the mildest form of gum disease -- but even mild gum disease still causes issues. The following is a look at common causes of gingivitis in children and how to prevent and treat cases.
Causes of Gingivitis in Children
- Poor brushing habits. While it can be kind of gross to think about, it is important to keep in mind that the body is home to many, many different types of bacteria. Some good, some neutral, and some bad. This bacteria congregates in the mouth where it produces plaque across one's teeth. When you brush and floss your teeth, you get rid of that plaque before it can harm your teeth or your gums.
- Bacteria inflames the gums. While plaque will work to destroy the teeth and gums from the top to the bottom, the bacteria that feast on plaque produce their own poisons that directly irritate the gums. This inflammation leads to infection which is a primary sign of gingivitis. Inflamed gums are also incredibly painful and so if your child is complaining that eating or drinking hurts, then they may be experiencing early symptoms of gingivitis.
- Poor nutrition. Certain foods are more attractive to bacteria than others. Processed sugar and starchy food are the ones most likely to accelerate plaque formation and attract the bacteria leading to gingivitis.
- Certain medical conditions. There are also some medical and genetic conditions that may increase your child's risk of gingivitis. For example, diabetes is known to increase a child's risk for teeth and gum issues and as such, children with diabetes are advised to take extra precautionary measures with their oral care.
- Mouth breathing at night. If your child breathes through their mouth when they sleep at night, they may be increasing their chances of catching gingivitis. That's because breathing this way dries out the gums and creates a more hospitable environment for bacteria to thrive. Mouth breathing at night can become a bad autonomous habit, but it is also one that can be trained against. Especially with babies and children. Talk to your child's dentist to learn more about corrective strategies.
Prevention and Treatment of Gingivitis in Children
- Establish good oral care habits. Every day, twice a day, ensure your child is practicing good brushing and flossing habits. Make it fun, make it a positive routine. Brushing and flossing habits are the very best ways a child can take control to prevent an irreversible gingivitis or periodontitis problem. Good brushing and flossing habits must be developed early in order to prevent permanent gum and enamel damage as a result of harmful bacteria.
- Schedule professional dental cleanings. Even those with the very best brushing and flossing habits may not be able to reach spots or may miss important areas. Especially when it comes to hard-to-reach areas in the back of one's mouth. This is why scheduling regular dental cleanings and checkups are so important. Children should start seeing a dentist whenever their first teeth start coming in so that those teeth and overall oral care can be properly monitored and dental cleanings can help prevent child gingivitis.
Schedule Your Child's Dental Visit Today
For all of the causes of gingivitis in children, there is no better person to advise you and your family than your family dentist. Your family dentist has the expertise and the equipment to examine your child's teeth and make the best recommendations for their overall oral health.
On the hunt for a new family dentist in Raleigh, NC? Contact our team today at Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental. Our experienced professional staff is best able to diagnose any problems you might suspect and those that you don't, and make the appropriate recommendations for treatment protocols. Whether that means corrective mouth breathing exercises or full dental cleaning to remove plaque, our team is here for you. Contact us today to learn more and to schedule your child's first dental appointment with us.
Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to
their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes.
Contact Williams, Daily & Frazier at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.