Family & Cosmetic Dental Care in a Relaxed Environment.

Exceptional Dentistry Las Vegas and Henderson NV Since 1999.

Dental Implants, Teeth Whitening, Porcelain Veneers, &
Botox Cosmetic.


Periodontal Disease is most frequently associated with adults and most people believe that periodontal disease as well as other major dental issues are strictly an adult problem.

Periodontal Disease Marielaina Perrone DDS

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene To Keep Away Periodontal Disease

This is simply not the case. Children and adolescents are also at risk of developing periodontal disease and associated health problems. When children have periodontal disease, signs and symptoms include bleeding gums, especially when brushing, swelling of gums, red and tender gums, receding gums, bone loss, and persistent bad breath.

Factors That Put Children at Risk for Developing Periodontal Disease

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, periodontal disease rarely occurs in young kids and is uncommon in teenagers. Hygiene, genetics, hormones, medications, and disease put you at greater risk for developing periodontal disease. The most frequent type of periodontal disease seen in children is gingivitis, which is the earliest stage (and only stage that is reversible) of periodontitis. Without dental treatment, gingivitis can and will progress to periodontal disease. While uncommon, there are certain factors that increase the risk of children developing  juvenile periodontal disease. Juvenile periodontits affects the first permanent molars and incisors.

Genetic Factors

Genetic factors help determine whether children are at risk for developing periodontal disease. Research studies have shown that genetic factors increase the risk of developing periodontal health problems in children. Children of parents with periodontal disease have an increased risk of having the periodontal disease bacteria that can lead to increased gum infections. If one or both parents or a member of the family has or has had some form of periodontal disease, it is strongly recommended that these parents ensure their kids practice proper dental hygiene daily and visit the dentist regularly.

Teenagers – Effect Of Hormonal Changes

The risk of developing periodontal disease increases as children approach puberty. Teenagers experience increases in hormonal levels, which can promote hormonal periodontal disease. Hormones such as progesterone increase blood circulation to the gums making the tissue even more sensitive and easily irritated by plaque and bacteria that cause periodontal disease. Most teenagers also lack the motivation to practice proper dental care due to the pressure of growing up and the effect of these hormones. This increases the risk of periodontal disease such as ANUG (acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis) even more. Flaming red tissue, bleeding ulcerated tissue, pain, and gum recession are characteristic of ANUG. It is essential for adolescents to take good care of their teeth and visit the dentist regularly for periodontal evaluations.

Periodontal Disease Marielaina Perrone DDSPoor Dental Hygiene Maintenance

Poor dental hygiene maintenance puts children at increased risk of developing periodontal disease. When children do not take good care of their teeth and gums, plaque builds up and bacteria breaks it down causing periodontal health problems. Teeth clenching and grinding increases the risk of periodontal disease in children. The best way to prevent periodontal disease in children and reduce the risk is to teach good dental care habits early in their lives. Since children copy their parents’ habits, so parents should also take proper care of their teeth.

 Diseases and medications that Can  Effect Periodontal Disease

-Diabetes, poor healing

-Asthma ( inhalers can cause oral tissue damage)

-Cancer and cancer therapies(radiation and chemotherapy can cause severe damage to oral tissues)

-autoimmune disease , poor healing

-some medications can cause tissue overgrowth, such as the anti-seizure medication, dilantin.

Forms Of Pediatric Gum Disease

Gingivitis is the and mildest stage of periodontal disease. It is the most common form of gum disease in children and adolescents. Chronic gingivitis may affect children and teens causing gums to swell, redden and bleed easily.  Professional treatment and proper dental care is the way to treat and prevent this gum condition. If left untreated, gingivitis will progress and cause further damage  to oral tissues.

Aggressive (Juvenile) periodontal disease is not common in children and adolescents, sometimes it can develop even in healthy children. It mostly affects the visible molarsPeriodontal Disease Marielaina Perrone DDS and incisors, and causes loss of the bone supporting the teeth without plaque or calculus formation.

Generalized aggressive periodontal disease is rare in children but less so in teens. This form of periodontal disease has serious symptoms including gum inflammation, calculus, plaque and loose teeth.

Advanced gum disease that contributes to systematic health conditions may also occur in children and teenagers. This type of periodontal disease is especially common in children with Down syndrome, Type 1 diabetes, Kinder Syndrome, and Papillon-Lefevre syndrome.

Since kids are at risk of developing periodontal health problems just like adults, it is important for parents to take good care of their children’s teeth and gums and instill in them a lifetime habit of proper dental care including brushing and flossing.

Understanding The Risks Can Help You To Help Your Child Fight Periodontal Disease

When kids start early, they will continue practicing proper oral care, hopefully carrying that habit into adulthood.  It is essential for parents to ensure their children have regular dental checkups, periodontal health evaluations and professional cleaning. If a parent or member of the family has gum disease, it is especially important that other family members undergo a professional gum evaluation and take serious care and consideration of their teeth and gums.

New studies are showing that poor oral health, tooth decay,  and tooth pain are putting some children at risk for falling behind in school. It is widely believed that many children, regardless of socioeconomic conditions, are not receiving routine dental care on a regular basis from a dentist or hygienist. It seems like good dental care takes a back seat at times in many families lives for various reasons.

The study recently conducted and published in the American Journal of Public Health examined close to 1,500 socioeconomically disadvantaged elementary and high school students in the Los Angeles area. They then matched their oral health to their academic achievement and attendance records. In previous studies, researchers found that about 75% of disadvantaged children in Los Angeles county area had some level of tooth decay.

In this study, children who reported having tooth pain were 4x more likely to have a low grade point average when compared to children without oral pain. The results also found that the tooth pain also resulted in a higher amount of absences, as well as more missed work for parents. This leads to lost classroom time as well as lost pay for parents and the family.

What can Parents Do to Avoid this?

Good oral hygiene must begin as soon as the child’s first teeth erupt into the mouth. Many of these tips take just a little time and patience to facilitate good oral hygiene. The following are some tips for parents to maintain their children’s teeth:

-Proper brushing. Many parents leave the tooth brushing up to their kids when they are as little as 2 years old. Parents and caregivers need to brush their child’s teeth, and then monitor that their children are brushing properly using a fluoride (as soon as they are old enough to spit and not swallow) toothpaste. Toothbrushing  can remove  up to 60% of the plaque, bacteria, and food debris from mouth.

-Flossing. Yes, Flossing. Children can floss and in fact when they get in the habit as a child they have that habit for life. There are children’s flossers which make it easier for them to perform themselves but again parents need to instruct, demonstrate, and monitor the job they are doing.

-Use a disclosing solution. A disclosing solution is a great tool to show what areas a child might be missing. It is effective in adults as well. It simply is a dye that colors the plaque remaining in your mouth. After you brush, you rinse with the disclosing solution to see what you have missed, then remove the remaining plaque and the color from your teeth. You are able to visually inspect how effective your hygiene techniques. It is a great learning tool, and it is highly effective.

-Rinse with an anti-cavity rinse. Children need fluoride more so than adults due to the developing teeth. A good example of this is ACT fluoride rinse. It comes in many flavors and is easy to use. There are also prescription fluoride rinses that are swallowed after rinsing to strengthen developing teeth. These rinses are only available through your dentist or pediatrician. DO NOT swallow over the counter fluoride rinses or toothpaste, it is harmful to both adults and children in this improper concentration.

-Avoiding or moderating sugars. Let’s face it children love their sweets from fruit roll ups to gummy bears to fruit juice. To avoid tooth decay we must modify that behavior and if they are to have these items have them brush and rinse soon after so the sugars do not have time to linger in their mouths.

Conclusion

Tooth Decay and Tooth Pain can be avoided or at the very least limited with proper dental hygiene and regular visits to the dentist. Remember it is far cheaper to see your dentist regularly for routine dental examinations and professional cleanings than to show up in pain.