Most people know that bleeding gums aren’t a good sign in adults. But, most don’t know that it’s just as bad of a sign in children. In fact, children are just as prone to gun infection and inflammation as adults are. Even worse, gum disease in children carries very serious consequences down the line.
So, for the parents out there, do know that your child is at a very real risk of gum disease.
Are Bleeding Gums Always A Bad Sign?
While it’s definitely not a good thing, bleeding gums is not always a sign that your son or daughter has gum disease. Case in point, he or she may just be brushing or flossing too aggressively, causing the gums to bleed. This is why it’s recommended for parents to supervise and assist their children until they are old enough. Do remember that gently brushing teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing slowly is more than enough. Also, if your child flosses every day and then suddenly skips for a few days, a bit of bleeding is to be expected as soon as he or she starts flossing again.
What Causes Gum Disease In Children?
Gum disease affects children for the same reason it affects adults and the elderly. This means that lack of proper oral hygiene is still the main culprit. Of course, genetics also play a key role, as some people are just genetically more susceptible to gum disease, despite practicing aggressive oral care habits.
Keep in mind that children are a special case in that gum disease doesn’t just cause pain and infection in them. It also affects their growth and can have serious consequences on their speech and jaw development, especially if left to progress and not treated immediately.
Symptoms To Watch Out For
The earliest symptoms of gum disease are puffy, swollen or reddish gums. Such gums are much more sensitive and often bleed quite easily during brushing and flossing. Do also watch out for chronic bad breath that doesn’t go away with regular brushing or flossing. If not caught early enough, your child’s teeth may to wiggle and become loose, and around the same time, the gums may develop pockets that make for ideal breeding grounds for bacteria such as plaque.
Prevention and Treatment
Ideally, you’ll want to prevent your child from getting gum disease, and the best way to do so is to encourage good dental hygiene. You should always remind our child to brush his or her teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once. You should also make it a point to visit the dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups. By establishing a habit early on and setting an example, you will have put your child on the right path to enjoying a lifetime of good oral health.
Unfortunately, you can’t always prevent gum disease, so the next best thing you can do is to make sure that it’s caught as early as possible. Frequent dental checkups and cleaning increase the likelihood of gum disease being caught early on. Also, as soon as you notice your child’s gums becoming puffy, swollen o reddish, and/or notice any signs of bleeding, don’t hesitate to visit your dentist immediately.
Ultimately, you are your child’s first line of defense against gum disease. And, by teaching your child how to take care of his or her teeth right now, you make sure that your child gets to enjoy having a healthy set of pearly whites for years to come.
For more information on children’s oral health call Dr. Flynne Weingarten at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at http://www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.