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Periodontal Disease in Children

Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is an inflammation of the gums caused by a buildup of plaque. Park Dental offers periodontal disease treatment for children in the Twin Cities, greater Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

When germs stay on teeth long enough, they produce plaque. If plaque isn’t removed from the teeth or gums, it can harden into tartar that gets trapped in the gums. Periodontal disease is typically caused by poor oral health, and there are two main forms: gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis is periodontal disease in its early form. Gingivitis can cause swollen and red gums that can bleed.

As the disease progresses, it can turn into periodontitis. In periodontitis, plaque spreads below the gum line and causes issues with the bone and tissue. The tooth can separate from the gums, creating a periodontal pocket. Periodontal pockets can trap even more germs and allow for deeper tooth decay. Left untreated, periodontitis can cause tooth loss.

While periodontal disease is mainly found in adults, children and teens can also develop the condition, as well.

Warning signs for gum disease include:

  • Bad breath
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain
  • Receding gums
  • Red, tender and swollen gums
  • Sensitive teeth

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent periodontal disease. Follow these tips to keep your child from developing gum disease:

  • Avoid junk foods that contain sweets that periodontal disease-causing bacteria loves
  • Brush and floss at least twice a day
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months
  • Use toothpaste that contains fluoride
  • Visit your children’s dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and exam.

Treatment for Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease treatment varies based on the level of severity. If your child has gingivitis, it can be reversed with good oral hygiene habits. Make sure that your child brushes and flosses regularly, and schedule visits to your child’s dentist as recommended.

If your child has periodontitis, advanced periodontal disease treatment may be required. Park Dental offers scaling and root planing to treat periodontitis for your child. Scaling and root planing removes any bacteria, plaque and tartar from the tooth and below the gum line.

After treatment, we will set your child up with periodontal maintenance appointments. At these appointments, your child will receive a cleaning and an examination from the dentist to see if the disease is progressing. You will receive individual recommendations for your child based upon their specific maintenance needs.

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