Gum disease is a serious oral health concern that affects nearly half of all Americans. While it’s typically more common in older adults (as high as 70% in those over 65), at our pediatric dental office in Wichita, we want all of our patients to know that gum disease can also occur in children.
What is Gum Disease?
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue and the bones around the teeth. It’s a serious problem that, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. There’s also research that links gum disease to other whole-body problems such as heart disease.
Signs & Symptoms
There are common signs that should alert you to the possibility that gum disease is lurking in your child’s mouth. They include:
- Bleeding gums, especially during brushing or flossing. It’s never normal to bleed while cleaning your teeth.
- Bright red, swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Chronic bad breath
If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your pediatric dentist in Wichita as soon as possible to schedule a thorough exam.
What You Can Do
Diagnosing gum disease early is key to a successful treatment and limits the risk for even more damage. That’s why it’s important to make sure your child visits their pediatric dentist at least every six months. But these dental cleanings and checkups are only half of a strong prevention plan. Starting good oral health habits early and ensuring they happen on a daily basis can also help keep gums healthy. Make sure your child brushes twice a day and flosses at least once a day.
If you suspect your child may have gum disease, give our Wichita pediatric dental office a call. We’ll schedule an appointment as soon as possible, perform a comprehensive exam, and discuss any findings with you to determine the best treatment available.
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