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Periodontal Disease is generally associated with adults and most people believe that periodontal diseaseas 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 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.

Bad breath or halitosis, results from poor maintenance of dental hygiene, chemical breakdown of food, and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by  unhealthy lifestyle habits. We all know how bad our breath is after eating onions or garlic for lunch, but did you know that your tongue can be a major cause of your bad breath?

Importance of Regularly Cleaning Your Tongue

Did you know that your tongue’s surface is the main breeding ground for harmful bacteria? These are the same bacteria that attack your teeth and gums causing tooth cavities and periodontal disease.  Bacteria  give off toxins in your mouth that in turn produce foul smelling gases.

Most people are aware of the importance of brushing and flossing but a simple “scraping” of your tongue twice a day can reduce bad breath odors. Studies have shown this can reach as high as a 75% reduction in odors emanating from the mouth.

A dental myth widely believed is that the stomach is the root cause of bad breath. Bad breath directly caused from the stomach is so rare that of a thousand people treated for bad breath not a single case was caused by underlying stomach issues.

Tooth brushing and most mouthwashes do nothing to remove oral debris and dead cells on the tongue, the root cause of bad breath. The most you can hope for from them, is to mask the bad breath for a short while. A combination of methods works best and this should include brushing, flossing, and tongue cleaning. Tongue cleaning can show a huge improvement in one’s breath almost immediately.

Orabrush Marielaina Perrone DDS

Orabrush for a Cleaner Tongue

Tongue Cleaning: Did You Know?

-Combination of teeth brushing and tongue cleaning can reduce bad breath by as much as 85% Vs. tooth brushing alone.

-Tongue cleaning alone can reduce mouth odor by as much as 75%.

-Brushing alone, reduces mouth odor by as much as 25%.

-Tongue cleaning reduces the amount of bacteria, plaque, and dead cells on the tongue by as much as 40%

-Tongue cleaning will cut down the bacteria stored in the mouth by Tenfold.

-Tongue cleaning reduces halitosis including smoker‘s breath by as much as 85 %

How to Clean Your Tongue Effectively

There are lots of products on the market now strictly for tongue cleaning. There are many types of apparatus available to clean your tongue, it is strictly a matter of preference. The old fashioned manual toothbrush does quite an effective job as well.

1.  Apply a pea sized amount of toothpaste to a wet toothbrush, not the same one that you use for your teeth, because the tongue holds significantly more debris and different bacteria than your tongue. The tongue cleaning toothbrush should be rinsed in antibacterial mouth rinse and stored separately so as not to contaminate your regular toothbrush.

2. Open your mouth wide and stick your tongue out at yourself in front of the mirror. Reach in with the toothbrush and gently touch the back of your tongue, near your throat. If you gag, pull the toothbrush a bit farther out of your mouth and try again. Repeat this step until you find a starting point that does not cause you to gag. Don’t worry if you can’t get very far back, your gag reflex will relax over time.

3. Press down on the toothbrush and pull it forward. Drag it across the entire length of your tongue until you reach the tip.

4. Repeat Step 2, moving the brush off to one side slightly so you drag across a new section of tongue. Spit out excess toothpaste if necessary, but don’t swallow it.

5. Continue doing this until you have scraped the entire top of your tongue. Rinse the toothbrush. Lighten the pressure, and repeat the process on the underside. If the procedure is painful, you’re pushing too hard.

6. Rinse your mouth thoroughly for at least one minute with an anti bacterial mouthwash. Spit when you’re finished.

Tongue Cleaning Conclusion

Maintaining good oral hygiene may seem like a daunting task but it is really quite simple once it becomes a part of your daily routine. Not only will you experience better breath, and less dental issues, but you will feel better and more confident about yourself as you go about your daily activities. Research has shown time and again how important a smile is to our self esteem. Give yourself peace of mind and follow your dental hygiene instructions for a happier, healthier you!