Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Periodontal Issues in Children

Posted by Sarah Sweetz Akhza at 5:20 AM
Periodontal Issues in Children

Like most parents, you probably know that you should encourage your children to brush their teeth twice a day and avoid eating and drinking sugary foods too frequently. But did you know that flossing and undergoing regular dental checks is an important step to preventing gum disease, one of the greatest threats to your child's healthy, happy smile?

The Threat to Your Child's Health

Periodontal issues are the second biggest threat to your children's oral health, second only to cavities. Ironically, both periodontal problems and cavities are caused by the same problem: the inadequate removal of tartar and plaque. Even regular brushing and flossing cannot completely remove plaque and tartar, but without careful dental hygiene it is difficult to prevent gum disease.

Finding a dentist you trust is just as important to your children's dental health as it is to yours. Make sure you find a family dentist who is familiar with the threat that gum disease holds toward your children and who can treat it if it arises.

Symptoms of Periodontal Issues

Gum disease produces certain symptoms which are easy to identify but not as easy to alleviate. You can examine your child for the following symptoms of periodontal problems:
• Puffy or swollen gums
• Discoloration of gums
• Sensitive gums or teeth
• Bleeding gums, especially when brushing or flossing teeth
• Receding gum line
• Bad breath
• Heavy plaque buildup on teeth

Importance of Early Diagnosis

Diagnosing gum disease early can prevent complications, like periodontal abscess and reduce risks from systemic ailments, like diabetes, that can worsen as a direct result of periodontal issues. The sooner your child's periodontal issues are diagnosed, the less intense the treatment will need to be. If gum disease is caught early, it can often be treated with cleanings, careful hygiene, and medicated mouth wash. However, if it is allowed to progress, surgery may even be required.

Teaching your children to pay close attention to changes in their teeth and gums can help safeguard them against serious complications in the future. While they may complain about having to brush and floss regularly while they are children, the benefits of doing so will last long into their adulthood.


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