Like adults, it is recommended that children are also seeing a dentist. Visiting a dentist regularly will help in the prevention of disease as well as the management of it when it arises. One such dental problem is gingivitis.
What is gingivitis? Gingivitis is the inflammation of the area of the gums that meet the teeth. Anyone with teeth can get it so it’s not exclusively a child or adult problem. However, since we know that the health of baby teeth can affect the eventual health of permanent teeth, it is important to monitor signs of gingivitis in children.
Equally as important is finding a dentist that specializes in treating the entire family, children included. You are sure to find this at Devaney Family Dentistry at the Oak Ridge and Brassfield locations. So let’s talk more about gingivitis.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the irritation and inflammation of the part of the gums at the base of the teeth. It is a common mild form of gum disease that can lead to periodontitis if left untreated. It can affect anyone with teeth, from babies to older adults.
With that said, you are likely wondering: How can I tell if my child has gingivitis? The main symptoms of gingivitis are redness and swelling of the gingiva, or the gum tissue directly around the gums. If you can picture this, gingivitis resembles your gums after you visit the dentist sometimes–red and swollen. Gingivitis will not be related to an event like a dental visit and will develop over time. Other common symptoms include bad breath and bleeding gums.
Is gingivitis painful for children? Not really. This can be good and bad if you think about it. It is good because no one wants their child to be in pain. However, pain is a great indicator that children will alert you about when something is not right. Gingivitis can often go undetected, especially by children, since the red and swollen gums may not alarm them much. This is why visually inspecting your child’s gums is important.
What causes gingivitis? The most common risk factors for the disease are poor hygiene, diet, and genetics. The obvious factors for your child within your control are poor hygiene and diet. So let’s talk about prevention and treatment!
Preventing and Treating Pediatric Gingivitis
When it comes to many diseases, we want to look at prevention first and treatment second. So your first question should be: What can I do to prevent gingivitis in my child?
Short answer: keep up habits of good oral hygiene and monitor diet! Getting your child into the habit of brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing is critical. Depending on your child’s age, this could look like you actually brushing their teeth to you standing with them as they brush their own teeth.
The other component of managing good oral hygiene is visiting the dentist regularly. A dentist will be able to clean your child’s teeth and diagnose any issues. You should look for family dentistry that regularly treats children. This will mean that the professionals have experience with interacting with kids which is invaluable. You will find this at Devaney Dentistry at both the Oak Ridge and Brassfield locations.
As for the diet component, a diet rich in fiber and lower in carbohydrates like sugar is associated with lower instances of gingivitis. Modeling healthy eating patterns for your children is crucial.
So that is prevention, what about treatment? Can gingivitis be reversed?
Yes, it can. And, treatment is not much different from prevention. Depending on the stage of the gingivitis, returning to diligently keeping good oral hygiene can cure a case in your child. If you suspect your child has gingivitis, contacting a dentist for a professional cleaning will jumpstart the healing process.
Treating Pediatric Gingivitis at Devaney Dentistry
As we have discussed, gingivitis is a common, mild disease that can affect anyone with teeth, including children. Prevention is as simple as keeping up good oral hygiene as well as promoting a healthy diet within the family.
Preventing gingivitis also means regularly getting teeth cleanings from a dentist. Catching gingivitis early will mean that you and your dentist can stop the progression. And, when it comes to children, you want to find a dentist’s office that is experienced with offering care to children of all ages!
At Devaney Dentistry we are passionate about tooth and gum health for the entire family! Visit us at either the Oak Ridge or Brassfield locations to get your and your children’s dental health in order.