Among those who have heard of gingivitis and related conditions known as periodontitis (the former is technically a form of the latter), there’s a tendency to associate these conditions with only adults. And while it’s true that these risks can be larger for adults than for children, research has proven time and again that younger people, particularly adolescents or any children with immune deficiencies, are susceptible as well.
At Children’s Crossing Pediatric Dentistry, our pediatric dentist services include an understanding of a wide array of conditions like gingivitis or periodontitis, plus both preventive and interceptive orthodontic methods to deal with these risks. Here are three common periodontitis types that may be possible in your children or adolescents, ranging from least to most severe, including some signs you may notice as a parent that will alert you to the issue in time for an immediate visit to our offices.
Gingivitis is technically considered a low-level form of periodontitis, one that can develop into worse conditions if it goes untreated. Some of the initial signs of gingivitis include redness, swelling or bleeding in the gums.
If these symptoms take place just once or twice, it’s possible they’re due to some other concern like brushing too hard, flossing incorrectly or eating a sensitive food item. If you notice these issues repeatedly over a period of time, however, it’s possible your child has chronic gingivitis that should be addressed immediately.
This condition used to be known as “adult periodontitis,” but soon dental professionals realized that adolescents and even younger teens could get it as well, and the name was changed. Chronic or aggressive periodontitis often hits the incisors and first molars harder than any other area of the mouth, and is often spotted due to bone loss that takes place as a result of the condition.
Those who get this condition often have very little dental plaque, a strange fact that dentists use to help identify the condition upon examination. For teens, the condition often shows up in the early teenage years, then gets worse as they age.
Generalized Aggressive/Chronic Periodontal Disease
This is a very similar condition to the one above, but with the added negative of affecting the entire mouth rather than just incisors and first molars. People with generalized periodontal disease tend to notice massive plaque and calculus accumulation, plus inflamed gums and possibly even a changing permanent gum structure. In some cases, the condition is so severe that it changes the gums’ strength and causes teeth to loosen or even fall out.
For more on identifying and treating forms of periodontitis and gingivitis in teens and even younger children, or to learn about any of our child dental services, speak to the staff at Children’s Crossing Pediatric Dentistry today.