You may know gum disease as one of the most prevalent and most serious oral health conditions. Untreated gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. What you may not know, however, is that periodontal disease is not limited to adults. Children and teens can suffer from this dental condition too.
While it is rare for pediatric patients to experience an acute or severe onset of gum disease, they are prone to chronic gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and it marked by gums that are red, puffy, tender and bleeding. Gingivitis in a child is typically an indication that flossing and brushing are falling short. The gums are the foundation of your child’s smile; don’t ignore the warning signs that they are not in good health.
Can Teens “Catch” Gum Disease?
It may surprise you to learn that, under certain conditions, gum disease is contagious. Reports show that if you share germs with someone who has gum disease and your mouth is a hostable environment, you are at higher risk for getting gum disease yourself. Teenagers are some of the most susceptible patients to “catch” periodontal disease. The surge in hormones during puberty all oral bacteria to grow more easily, which means gum disease becomes more transmittable and hostable amongst teens. Bacteria buildup can be worsened when your adolescent is in braces or snacking late at night after brushing.
The Good News
Fortunately, whether you are a child, teenager or aging adult, gum disease is treatable. When caught at the stage of gingivitis, gum disease can be simply reversed through better hygiene habits or a deep cleaning from your dentist. In more advanced stages, laser periodontal therapy may be needed to restore gum health.
At DNTL Hub, we help parents recognize the oral health conditions that children are susceptible to. To this end, our dentists carefully evaluate the health of the gums at each pediatric dental visit. If red, receding, swollen or tender gums are present, we can discuss treatment options for relief. Call today to learn about gum disease or to schedule your child’s next pediatric dental visit in Galt.