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Can a Child Have Gum Disease?

Posted on 6/15/2024 by Lakewood Dental Arts
A group of kids smilingYou may think that gum disease is a problem only in adults who may not brush and floss enough. However, children as young as three or four have gum disease. If you are worried that your child may have gum disease, there are some signs you can look for and ways to make sure their gums stay healthy.

How Does Gum Disease Get Started in Children?

Gum disease begins in children in the exact same way that it begins in adults: as plaque. Because all of us have bacteria in our mouths - some helpful bacteria and some harmful bacteria - the goal is to keep the levels of bad bacteria that cause gum disease lower. Otherwise, those bad bacteria allow acids to form on your teeth and at the gumline, which is called plaque. Plaque can be removed by effectively cleaning your teeth.

However, if plaque is not removed by cleaning your teeth, it will harden into tartar, which can only be removed by dental tools. Where there is tartar, gum disease usually occurs as well. Children are notorious for their brushing habits. Often, children do not brush all of their teeth effectively, which can lead to both plaque and tartar buildup.

There are three stages of gum disease, even in children. Gingivitis is the earliest type of gum disease. You can easily notice gingivitis if you look at the gums. If they look red and swollen or bleed when your child brushes them, your child could have gingivitis. Gingivitis can be cured by effectively brushing and flossing. Once the disease progresses to the more serious stages of gum disease, dentists can treat the disease but not cure it.

How Can I Help My Child Avoid Gum Disease?

The best way that you can help your child avoid gum disease is to make sure they brush and floss their teeth effectively. Also, bring your children in to see our dentist twice a year. Not only can our dentist check for gum disease, but they can also give your child tips on cleaning their teeth effectively. Need to set an appointment for your children to visit our dentist? We can help. Contact us today to make an appointment.

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