Your Child Has Gum Disease? 3 Things You May Want To Know

Posted on: 22 June 2015

If your child's pediatric dentist tells you that your child has gum disease, you may wonder how this happened and what treatment will be needed to fix it. The first thing you should know is that your child is not alone. According to the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, approximately 50% of kids have periodontitis–also known as gum disease. Here are three things you should know about kids and gum disease.

There are three main stages

One of the first questions you should ask the dentist is how bad the gum disease is. If you take your child to the dentist every six months for checkups, there is a good chance that the disease will be in the initial stage of gum disease, which is called gingivitis. Gingivitis can cause swelling of the gums, redness, and bleeding, but it is typically fairly common and easy to treat.

The second stage of gum disease is called aggressive periodontitis. This stage develops when gingivitis is not treated, and it can lead to a loss of bone in the mouth. If the gum disease is still not treated at this point, it could develop into generalized aggressive periodontitis, which is the most severe form of gum disease.

How it happens

Poor oral hygiene is one of the main causes of gum disease, but puberty can also affect a child's chances of developing this disease. During puberty, the changes in hormones can put a child at a higher risk of developing gum disease. Any other hormonal changes can also increase a child's risks.

No matter what stage the gum disease is currently in, your child's dentist will be able to provide treatment options for it.

How it is treated

Gum disease in kids is treated with the same methods as adults, and the treatment type will depend on the severity of the condition. When detected early on, gum disease is often treated through a process called scaling and root planing. This method involves scraping off the gum disease located below or behind the gums. 

If this method does not work or is not feasible, dentists can also treat gum disease with antibiotics and surgical options. After the treatment is complete, the dentist will encourage the child to take good care of his or her teeth by brushing and flossing daily.

Gum disease is something you can prevent with good oral care habits. If you would like to learn more about gum disease in kids, talk to your child's pediatric dentist (or Smile Academy the).