What is gum disease?
This disease is a powerful force that can attack your child’s mouth. The disease will slowly eat away at supportive tissue in your child’s jawbone and gums. It is caused by toxins contained within plaque, irritating and inflaming the sensitive gum tissue that buffers teeth. In many cases, the unfortunate result is tooth loss.
However, that isn’t actually the worst possible health outcome from periodontal disease. In worst-case scenarios, the disease will actually eat away at the gum tissue around a tooth, and then continue to destroy underlying bone tissue. Though periodontal disease also affects adults, the result on children can be even more painful and devastating for them and their oral health. Though the name may not be familiar, odds are that you are already aware at least in part of the cause and potential harm of periodontal disease. This is because the first stage of the disease is the common oral health issue known as gingivitis – which in even more common terms is the inflammation of the gum tissue, leaving it swollen and prone to bleeding.
What is gingivitis?
If gingivitis is left untreated, it can develop into the devastatingly damaging periodontal disease which can quickly attack the molar and incisors in a child’s mouth once they hit puberty. We know that all of this can sound frightening for both the child and the parent, but being educated about the possible risks to your children’s dental health means learning about health issues that one would otherwise not go into too much detail about. The good news is that periodontal disease is easy to prevent in children. It’s also treatable if it does develop, but as they say in medicine, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so let’s walk through the ways you can make sure you child doesn’t contract the potentially damaging periodontal disease.
Preventing periodontal disease is easier than you think
Remember, it’s only an advanced version of gingivitis, so to prevent periodontal disease, take the normal oral health steps that prevent gingivitis. This means making sure your child is regularly taking good care of their teeth through proper brushing and flossing. And, of course, they should be undergoing regular dental appointments to make sure any problem spots are caught ahead of time. The dental x-rays that some children find uncomfortable are actually the best way for your dental professional to screen for signs of periodontal disease.