Gum Disease in Children IN LAS VEGAS & HENDERSON, NV
ANTHEM PERIO, LAS VEGAS' CHOICE FOR ADVANCED PERIODONTICS
There is a common misconception that gum disease is a condition exclusive to adults; however, young children and teenagers are at an increased risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease is an inflammatory condition of the gums and bone that is caused by bacteria attacking the tissues around your teeth. Because symptoms appear gradually, many patients are not aware they have developed gum disease and the issue is not identified unless by a periodontist during a regular cleaning or periodontal maintenance exam. The three most common types of gum disease in children are chronic gingivitis, aggressive periodontitis, and generalized aggressive periodontitis. Children that have developed chronic gingivitis typically have swollen gums or gums that easily bleed. Chronic gingivitis is generally preventable, provided your child brushes and flosses regularly and has regular dental exams. If not treated, gingivitis can progress to aggressive and generalized aggressive periodontitis. Aggressive periodontitis is more common in teenagers and young adults. If not treated, aggressive periodontitis may result in alveolar bone loss, tooth loss, and an increased risk of developing oral health issues as an adult.
What Causes Gum Disease in Children?
Gum disease occurs when food debris and bacteria accumulate on the surface of your teeth, eventually resulting in a sticky film (plaque) that, if allowed to harden, will eventually turn into tartar. Eventually, this tartar and plaque buildup will cause gums to become red and swollen. As the condition worsens, teeth can become loosened due to the damage occurring to the bone and soft tissue underneath the teeth. One of the earliest indications that your child has developed gum disease is that their gums bleed when brushing and flossing. Halitosis (bad breath) that is still present after brushing and flossing is another indication that gum disease has developed.
Teens undergoing hormonal changes are more likely to develop gum disease then younger or older populations. During this period, increased levels of hormones (estrogen and/or progesterone) cause an increase in blood circulation in your children’s gums, which can increase the sensitivity of their gums, causing them to become more responsive to irritation. As a result, their gums may become red, swollen, or tender. As teens enter puberty, this sensitivity and propensity to swell tends to diminish.
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Treating and Preventing Gum Disease in Children
Teaching your child (children) proper oral self-care habits is one of the most effective ways to reduce their risk of developing gum disease at an early age or later in life. By following these best practices, you will maximize your child’s recovery process and significantly reduce their risk of developing gum disease in the future:
- Begin practicing good oral hygiene early: You can begin brushing your child’s teeth with toothpaste when they are 12 months old. After your child has reached an age where the gaps between their teeth have closed, you can begin flossing.
- Teach your child proper oral care techniques: When your child is old enough to begin brushing and flossing their own teeth, it is important to ensure that they are doing so properly. Be sure they are brushing twice daily (at a minimum) for at least two minutes each time, remembering to brush their tongue and cheeks, as well as behind their lower and upper front teeth. It is also important that they floss at least once a day and are mindful of the type of foods and beverages they consume, doing your best to limit or avoid starchy foods or foods or beverages that are sugary.
- Lead by example: Make efforts to model your own oral self-care habits for your child.
- Examine your child’s mouth regularly: It is important to keep an eye on your child’s mouth, especially if they have been diagnosed with gum disease. As you do, look for common indications of gum disease, such as bleeding gums, gums that are bright or swollen, or gums that have receded. Bad breath can also be an indication of gum disease in children.
In addition to teaching these best practices, it is also essential to schedule regular periodontal exams to allow for cleanups and monitoring of their overall oral health. This also ensures that issues can be identified and corrected before they develop into something more significant. By following these best practices, your child will significantly reduce their risk of developing gum disease and continue to enjoy good oral health!
Cost of Treating Gum Disease
The cost of treating your child’s gum disease is contingent on a variety of factors, including the severity of your child’s case, the type of treatment provided, whether dental sedation is used, and your dental insurance plan.
At Anthem Periodontics and Dental Implants, we are committed to providing your child with their care they need and helping you maximize your insurance reimbursement so they can receive optimal care. As such, we are happy to file your claim and handle your paperwork. Please be aware, though, that any remaining balance following coverage is your responsibility. Though not required, we do offer a discount for patients who pay their bill in full (cash, check, or credit) prior to treatment.
Before scheduling your appointment, we will provide an estimated total cost and answer any questions you have concerning payment plan options, such as Care Credit which offer interest-free payment plans for six-to-twelve-month periods and/or a payment arrangement made in advance with our office.
For your convenience, we accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.
Schedule Your Appointment
At Anthem Periodontics and Dental Implants, your oral health is our number one goal. We are committed to providing you with the comprehensive periodontal support you need to continue enjoying a bright, healthy smile. To learn more about treating gum disease in children, or to schedule an appointment, contact our office at (702) 270-4600. We look forward to providing your child with quality care tailored to their unique needs!