If you have a child who is going through puberty, then you should know that certain oral ailments can accompany this change in life. And, gum disease is one of these problems. If you want to know about gum disease concerns in adolescents, keep reading to learn why the issue may develop and also what you can do about it.
Why Does Gum Disease Develop?
Gum disease develops in children for the same reason it does in adults. Food particles and plaque are left on the teeth and bacteria feed on these materials. The feeding releases acidic chemical byproducts that irritate the gums. Also, the microorganisms work their way around the soft tissues and this leads to inflammation and infection.
Gum disease and gingivitis are quite common in children, and the diseases build much more regularly as children start to go through puberty. This has a lot to do with the influx of hormones within the body, especially in your girls. Estrogen and progesterone are often to blame by causing an increase in blood flow throughout the tissues. As the blood flow increases across the gums, the tissues become sensitive and often bleed. This can make them far more susceptible to bacteria attacks and gum disease may develop.
Due to the sensitivity of the gums, you may notice that the tissues respond more aggressively to irritants like acidic foods and beverages where there was no issue before. This sort of sensitivity can cause further issues where the gums are unable to heal due to the prolonged irritation.
How Can The Issue Be Addressed?
Teens should be following a regular oral care regimen at home that helps to ensure that the mouth is as clean as possible. Brushing and flossing twice a day is ideal. Gentle products are best, so purchase some soft-bristled toothbrushes, wide and coated floss, and minimally abrasive toothpaste for your son or daughter.
If gum disease has started to develop, then periodontal therapy may be required. This will help to prevent the infection from spreading deep into the tissues where the periodontal ligaments and bone may be affected. The therapy is similar to adult treatments with deep cleanings and the flushing of microorganisms from the gum pockets. And, gum pockets are often medicated. Medication treatment is optimal for adolescents as it can prevent future issues. Since teens are so young, pediatric dentists will try to minimize the long-term effects of the gum infections.
For more information, reach out to a pediatric dentist.