Gum Disease — The Biggest Bad Guy
We are all familiar with flu season, that terrible time when every child in daycare and school seems to get sick, as well as their parents and teachers. For those few weeks, it certainly feels like every nose is runny and every cough is hoarse. As bad as flu season can get, however, it pales in comparison to a much more widespread sickness that affects over half of all children in the world: gum disease.
With gum disease (also known as periodontitis) being the biggest threat to our kids’ tooth care, as well as being the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, it is important to know what causes it and what to look for in case our children get it. If at any time you are worried that your child may have gum disease, please visit Timpanogos Pediatric Dentistry as soon as possible for a check-up.
What Is It?
Gum disease is essentially damage done to the gums (and later the hard enamel) due to infections from bacteria living in the mouth. These bacteria feed off of the sugar that sits in your mouth, causing lesions to appear in the soft tissue and cavities on the surface of the tooth.
Many of the services that we perform at our pediatric dentistry, such as cleaning, fluoride treatments, and sealants are meant to directly combat gum disease and its effects.
As parents invested in our children’s dental care, we are understandably worried about what causes periodontitis. We mentioned bacteria as the main driver of the disease but in truth, there are many causes that can speed up the process of infection. The most common for children include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Mouth breathing
- A poor diet (high in sugar, low in nutrients)
As you can see, there are a few factors that are out of our hands but many more that we can help our kids control directly.
Now that we know a bit more about where gum disease comes from, let’s identify the signs that we should look for when it crops up. These will all appear on or around the gums and can be accompanied by a certain amount of pain.
- Red, swollen gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Receding gums
In addition to the aforementioned symptoms, more acute cases of periodontitis can include weeping sores and even a change in the jaw alignment.
When it comes to Utah children’s dental care, gum disease is too important to ignore. Contact us today to set up an appointment to meet with one of our dentists. Our trained professionals not only take the fear out of visiting the pediatric dentist but make learning about teeth fun.