Can Children and Adolescents Get Gum Disease?

Many people associate gum disease with adulthood but the truth is that anyone, of any age, can develop periodontal (gum) disease. When periodontal disease goes undiagnosed and treated, it will ultimately manifest into a very serious oral health condition that will affect the entire oral health system. Late stage gum disease can destroy teeth, gums, and bone. The most common reason young people develop gum disease is due to inadequate oral hygiene. During regular checkups and cleanings, our children’s dentist will look for signs of gum disease and provide treatment, when necessary.

The Development of Gum Disease

Gum disease is categorized by inflamed and infected gingival tissue. This is most commonly caused by improper or inadequate oral hygiene. The mouth is a hospitable environment for harmful and benign bacteria. When we consume sugar and starches, bacteria begin to feed on food particles. They will release acid as a by-product and colonize to form the sticky, translucent substance known as plaque. When patients fail to brush and floss thoroughly, this plaque will ultimately harden into calculus along the gum line.

Calculus, or tartar, cannot be removed without a professional cleaning. Since tartar is full of bacteria, it will inflame the gums, causing them to become infected and recede from teeth. Over time, the gingival tissue will appear red or swollen and might bleed easily when brushing or flossing. Without professional intervention and improved oral home care, a patient’s condition will only worsen.

How Gum Disease is Treated among Children

If our dentist detects gum disease, our team will determine its severity by measuring the depth of periodontal pockets (the space between the sulcus and teeth). In many cases, gum disease can be managed by improving oral hygiene at home, reducing sugar intake, and receiving regular dental cleanings. More advanced stages of gum disease may require specialized prophylaxis that removes tartar accumulation below the gum line and along the roots of teeth.

To schedule you or a family member’s next cleaning, call us at Dental Depot today!

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