Certain things may raise your child’s risk for periodontal disease. These include:
Periodontal disease can range from mild to severe. Most children with gum disease have the mildest form, called gingivitis. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and sore. More advanced cases of gum disease are not common in children.
Generally, gum disease isn’t painful. So your child may not know if he or she has it. Below are the most common signs and symptoms of gum disease:
These signs and symptoms may look like other health problems. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider or dentist for a diagnosis.
Your child’s healthcare provider will likely refer your child to a dentist for evaluation and care. Your child’s dentist can often diagnose periodontal disease with a complete history and exam of your child’s teeth and gums. Your child may also need X-rays.
Your child’s dentist may refer your child to a periodontist. This is a dentist with special training to treat periodontal disease.
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Early treatment is important. It can prevent the gum disease from getting worse. If the disease is left untreated, underlying bone around the teeth may dissolve. It will no longer be able to hold the teeth in place.
Treatment may include any or a combination of the following:
Good dental habits can prevent gum disease. Make sure your child:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
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