Information About Childhood Gingivitis

If you have a son or daughter who goes to their regular six month dental visits, then you may be surprised when the dental professional indicates that your child has gingivitis. Gingivitis is something that can happen to children, even though it is more commonly an adult problem. If you want to know what your child might be experiencing the issue and also what you can do about it, keep reading.

Why Do Kids Get Gingivitis?

Children can develop gingivitis for the same reasons that adults do. Poor oral hygiene is most likely the cause when gingivitis appears. Specifically, when kids allow carbohydrates, sugars, and plaque to gather near the gum line, bacteria are attracted to the region. The microorganisms then feed on the leftover food, release acids, and the gums then become inflamed.

If your child is fairly diligent about oral care, then carbohydrates and plaque may not be the issue. The problem may be related to hormones instead. As children start to go through puberty, hormones like testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen surge through the body. These hormones cause blood flow to increase to the gum tissues. This can make the gums more sensitive to bacterial activity. If bacteria feed off small bits of food at the gum line, like in between meals, then the sensitive gums can become inflamed and infected quite easily.

How Can The Condition Be Prevented?

Most gingivitis conditions, including those caused by hormones, can be controlled with excellent oral care. Prompt your child to brush their teeth at least twice a day. Since the gums are sensitive, purchase a soft-bristled toothbrush for your son or daughter. A plaque or tartar control toothpaste is a good idea as well to cut down on the food that attracts bacteria to the gums. When it comes to floss, look for a woven variety so you do not cut the gums like you may with sharp and stringy floss varieties. 

If your child's gingivitis condition does not get better on its own, then ask the pediatric dentist about a short term antibiotic rinse. These rinses are similar to the ones that are provided after oral surgeries and they can reduce bacterial activity significantly so the gums are able to heal. Oral antibiotics as well as deep cleanings may be an option as well. However, these things are usually considered only when the gum issue cannot be controlled through other means. 

If you have concerns about gingivitis, speak with your child's dental professional to see what can be done about infected gum tissues. For more information, you will want to contact a company such as Lucky Kids Dental.