What on earth is gingivitis? Gingivitis is a type of oral disease, often called gum disease. Nearly half of Americans develop some sort of periodontal disease in their life, and most of those cases are gingivitis. If detected early, a dentist can treat and reverse the effects of gingivitis. What does this mean for you?
Gingivitis is caused by poor oral health. The easiest way to prevent it is to make sure that your child is brushing their teeth on a regular basis. They should be brushing their teeth every morning and night before bed. If they happen to have an extra sugary snack or treat during the day, brushing their teeth within the first 30 minutes after eating will also help protect their teeth. Prevention of gingivitis is very similar to the prevention for cavities. In addition to brushing their teeth twice a day, you should ensure your child is also flossing everyday. This can be a hard habit to develop, so we recommend getting small child flossers in a tasty child-friendly flavor. If it tastes good and is easy to do themselves, they are less likely to resist, and for a child shouldn’t be a job that takes more than 30 seconds.
Watch for symptoms
Gingivitis is most commonly associated with red and swollen gums that bleed easily. If your child’s gums are bleeding or red, it doesn’t mean that they have gum disease. But it does mean that you need to keep a closer eye on their oral health, and if the problem doesn’t resolve within a day or two, schedule an appointment to have it checked so it can be treated. The most common symptom is bleeding gums when you’re brushing your teeth. This can happen occasionally and can be caused by something else, but chronic gum bleeding when brushing your teeth is a sign of something worse happening.
The dangers of gingivitis
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It’s caused by an excessive buildup of plaque. If the plaque isn’t removed daily by brushing and flossing, it can produce toxins that irritate the gums, which will become infected. Gingivitis is relatively easy to treat, and the most common complaint is the gums bleeding when brushing your teeth. The real danger behind gingivitis is that most more dangerous periodontal diseases start as simple gingivitis. This is much harder to treat and is often persistent throughout adulthood.