09 Feb 2018 Why More and More Kids Are Getting Gum Disease
Many people think of gum disease as an adult problem. However, this oral malady is growing in children at alarming rates. The following short blog examines why this disturbing phenomenon has and continues to occur, as well as the signs and symptoms of kids gum disease that parents should pay close attention to.
How Serious Is Kids Gum Disease?
Information gathered by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) dating as far back as the late 1980s suggests this problem has been significant for quite some time. The noted American health watchdog organization compiled data originally gathered by the National Health and Nutrition Exam Survey. That agency found that from 1988 to 1994, the rate of tooth decay (the destruction and disintegration of a tooth’s enamel) in young children’s primary teeth rose 18 percent and during the years of 1999 to 2004, increased 24 percent from the early 1970s, when the organization first started compiling such statistics.
What Factors Have Contributed To A Decline In The Health Of Kids Teeth?
Many dental professionals opine that dietary habits are among the biggest contributing factor. Over the last several decades, many of our kids teeth have been subjected to an increased number of foods containing carbohydrates (which are abundant in sugars and starches) and found in commonly consumed items including soda and candy. Most of these products leave behind remnants that stick to the teeth. Bacteria then forms on such food particles, which if not quickly eliminated, could lead to tooth damage and/or decay, in addition to potentially far more severe dental ailments like gingivitis and periodontitis.
In addition to poor dietary habits, oral care experts also believe specific behaviors may also contribute to the spread of kids gum disease. Children often share close proximity with other young people, such as their siblings and classmates. Under these circumstances, it is not uncommon for kids to share food and beverages with their peers. Dental professionals believe engaging in such habits might also leave kids susceptible to oral health problems.
What Are The Manifestations Of Gum Disease In Children?
Periodontitis, the most serious form of gum disease, is not common in very young children. When this malady does strike young people, it typically does so in teenagers or those in early adulthood. That said, gingivitis, a less serious, but no less concerning oral health malady, is fairly common in young persons of all age descriptions. This condition causes several symptoms parents, especially those of very young kids should be on the lookout for. Such manifestations include:
If afflicted with gum disease, your child’s gums might bleed at any time. However, they would be most susceptible to this problem during and immediately after brushing their teeth.
Your child’s gums may appear to be red, puffy and/or swollen.
Receding Gum Lines
In more severe cases of gingivitis, your child’s gums might give the appearance of being pulled away from the teeth.
Foul breath that does not improve after administering adequate oral care measures such as brushing of the teeth, flossing and the use of mouthwash may indicate the presence of gum disease.