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Periodontal Disease in Children and Adolescents: What Parents Need to Know

Home > Periodontal Disease in Children and Adolescents: What Parents Need to Know
Periodontal disease in Children

As parents, ensuring your children’s health is about caring for their physical and overall well-being, including oral health. We often associate gum disease with adults, but periodontitis can also affect children and adolescents. By understanding this condition, you will be able to recognize the signs and know how to prevent and treat it, making a significant difference in your child’s overall health. 

Meramec Family Dentistry prepared this blog to provide parents with important information to safeguard their children against periodontitis in Arnold, MO. This will help the children maintain healthy gums and teeth throughout their formative years.

What You Should Know About Periodontitis

Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that destroys the soft tissue and damages the bone that supports your teeth. This progressive condition starts as gingivitis, characterized by gum inflammation, and can advance to periodontitis. This disease leads to the gums being pulled away from the teeth, creating pockets that can become infected. 

Gingivitis is the initial and milder form of periodontal disease and involves bleeding and inflammation of the gums. You can reverse this gum disease with proper oral hygiene and professional care. Periodontitis is a more severe form of gingivitis that involves inflammation and destruction of the tissues and bone supporting the teeth, leading to tooth loss. 

Many individuals believe that periodontitis is a condition that only affects adults. However, our dentist in Arnold, Dr. Mandefro says that children and adolescents can also develop this disease, particularly if they have poor oral hygiene or risk factors like orthodontic appliances. Understanding that young people are also at risk can help in early detection and treatment. 

Signs and Symptoms in Children and Adolescents

Here are some signs and symptoms of periodontal disease that you should take note of. 

1. Early signs of gum disease (redness, swelling, bleeding gums)

The early signs include bleeding, redness, and swelling of gums, especially during flossing or brushing. These symptoms indicate inflammation, and we advise that you take immediate action to prevent progression. 

2. Advanced symptoms (receding gums, loose teeth, bad breath)

As the disease progresses, symptoms become more severe. These include receding gums, which can make the teeth loose, appear longer, and lead to persistent bad breath. These are signs of advanced periodontitis and require professional periodontal treatment.

3. Lack of regular dental checkups for early detection

When you go for regular checkups, our dentist in Arnold can identify signs of periodontitis that may be invisible to untrained eyes and provide timely treatments to prevent the disease from worsening.

Prevention Strategies to Note 

With child dentistry in mind, we understand that to take your child’s gum health seriously, you must practice some preventive strategies. Note these few strategies for periodontal care:

  • Proper Brushing and Flossing Techniques

Ensure your children use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Guide them on the proper way to brush their teeth, along the gumline, and how to floss between each tooth. 

  • Establish Good Oral Hygiene From A Young Age

Instill good oral hygiene habits early. Teach them to prioritize their gum health by brushing their teeth at least twice a day and flossing to remove food particles and plaque that can lead to gum disease.

  • Regular Dental Visits and Professional Cleanings

As part of your periodontal maintenance in Arnold, visit your dentist regularly and ensure you have professional cleanings to remove tartar and plaque that cannot be eliminated by brushing and flossing alone. 

  • Prioritize a Balanced Diet Rich in Minerals and Vitamins

A diet rich in minerals and vitamins, particularly vitamin C and calcium, can help maintain healthy gums. Motivate your children to eat a balanced diet with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and dairy products. 

  • Use Fluoride Mouthwash and Toothpaste

Fluoride prevents decay and strengthens tooth enamel, which contributes to gum disease. Encourage the use of fluoride toothpaste and, if recommended by a dentist, a fluoride mouthwash.

Treatment Options for Periodontitis in Children and Adolescents in Arnold, MO

There are several types of periodontal treatment in Arnold, and all of them are geared toward helping you fight periodontal disease. Check out these treatment options for periodontitis:

1. Non-surgical Treatments: Scaling and Root Planing

Non-surgical treatments such as root planing and scaling are effective for early to moderate periodontitis. Root planing smooths the roots of the teeth, while scaling removes tartar and plaque from gum lines, making it easier for the gums to heal and reattach. 

2. Surgical Treatments for Severe Cases

Surgical treatments and procedures like soft tissue grafts, bone grafts, and flap surgery may be necessary in severe cases. They can help enhance gum health, reduce pocket depths, and restore supportive bones and tissues.

3. Role of Antibiotics and Antimicrobial Treatments

Antibiotics and antimicrobial treatments can be used to control bacterial infections and reduce inflammation in the gums. These may be administered as topical gels, oral medications, or placed directly into the periodontal pockets.

4. Importance of Follow-up Care and Ongoing Maintenance

After your treatment, ensure that you follow up with your periodontal maintenance in Arnold to prevent a recurrence. Follow-up care and maintenance include appointments, diligent home care routines, and professional cleanings.

Signs of Periodontitis on Adolescent

Give Your Child and Adolescent the Best Periodontal Care in Arnold, MO

To give your child or adolescent the best treatment for periodontitis in Arnold, MO, you must be equipped with the right knowledge. At Meramec Family Dentistry, we understand the importance of providing comprehensive periodontal care for young children, and our team is dedicated to helping them achieve and maintain optimal oral health. 

Schedule a consultation with us today to ensure your child receives the best possible care for their gums and teeth.

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