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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

RECEDING GUMS IN CHILDREN

Children with bad brushing routines face dental problems much more serious than cavities. Periodontitis, a bacterial infection of the gums and tissues surrounding teeth, is the leading cause of tooth loss, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. The Academy states the majority of children have some level of gum disease. If left untreated, periodontitis can damage bone and loosen teeth.

Periodontal Disease

Gingivitis, which is the first stage of periodontal disease, is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily during brushingChronic gingivitis commonly occurs in children. Gingivitis may progress to periodontal disease, characterized by bad breath and bleeding, swollen gums. The gums begin to recede, or pull back, from the teeth. The gums may recede so far as to expose the roots of the teeth. Aggressive periodontitis occurs in children who have no other health conditions and may affect only the molars and incisors, or it may be a general infection that involves the entire mouth. Children with generalized aggressive periodontitis tend to have heavy plaque and tartar buildup, whereas those with more local infection usually have little to no tartar on their teeth.
Causes

Poor oral hygiene resulting in an accumulation of plaque and bacteria causes periodontal disease and receding gums. Other factors contributing to gum disease include mouth breathing, which dries the gums and front teeth, a diet lacking in vitamin C, grinding teeth during sleep, a family tendency toward periodontitis and some medications. Chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes autoimmune diseases, and hormonal fluctuations also contribute to gum infections. Smoking and smokeless tobacco are risk factors for periodontal disease in teenagers.
Treatment

Treatment depends on the extent of disease and your child's age and overall health. Thorough plaque removal, usually involving deep cleaning beneath the gum line, is essential. Early, mild periodontitis responds to deep cleaning, but more extensive disease requires medication to eliminate the infection or surgery to reshape damaged tissue and bone.
Prevention

Good oral hygiene prevents receding gums and periodontal disease.. Adolescents tend to relax their oral hygiene habits because of lack of interest. Establishing regular brushing and flossing habits in young children helps to maintain healthy habits. Regular dental appointments for routine cleaning and periodontal examinations help to prevent plaque accumulation and catch gum disease in early stages. Check your child's mouth for tartar buildup, receding or bleeding gums and bad breath, which may be warning signs of gum disease.

5 comments:

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  2. Interesting article on Periodontal disease in children. I was surprised to learn that grinding your teeth can be a cause of gum disease.

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