Have you ever had something caught in your teeth for days, lodged deep in your gums? This is pretty common for kids as their teeth shift with their growing jaw. That gum tissue is what keeps our chompers in place.
There are three stages of gum disease and all are treatable. The mild, and most common, form of gum disease found in kids is Gingivitis [Stage 1]. This is where plaque builds up. The gums become swollen, tender, and likely to bleed especially while brushing. [Stage 2] With periodontitis the gum tissue starts deteriorating, pulling away from the teeth to form pockets around tooth roots. This leaves teeth exposed and highly susceptible to decay. Finally, while this is very rare for younger children, late aged teens can be affected by [Stage 3] advanced periodontitis. Tooth pockets get deeper as the severe gum recession leads to bone loss causing loose teeth.
Common Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease
- Genetics – it’s hereditary and some kids are just unlucky! Before blaming yourself (or your parents), know that having a good oral hygiene routine with regular dental visits can help your child’s smile stay healthy.
- Health – medical conditions like diabetes and Crohn’s disease, as well as lowered immunity from illnesses can also affect gum tissue. Be sure to keep us in the loop of any new diagnosis on their health.
- Bad Habits – not brushing or flossing daily are the most common culprits in kids of all ages. Substance abuse and a diet lacking in vitamin C can also impact their smile; however, this is most common in adults.
- Stress – even kids experience different levels of stress. While it can show up as a change in eating habits, headaches and sleep issues, keep an eye on their hygiene habits. Anxiety can also lower their immune system from effectively fighting off bacteria that causes gingivitis (stage 1).
When to Seek Help
Bring your child for a dental exam if they’re experiencing any of these common red flags of gum disease:
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen or tender gums
- Gums look bright red
- Adult teeth wiggle
There’s no home remedy to cure gum disease, and it must be under control before starting braces treatment.
Miami Orthodontist Group
Miami, FL 33176