Children’s gum health

Dra. Montañés
Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry and Dental Aesthetics.

A child’s first teeth tend to come in between the age of 5 and 8 months, and this is when we would recommend you book them in for their first dentist appointment. An early visit to a specialist can help to detect problems such as inflammation or bleeding, which are two of the most prominent symptoms related to gum conditions.

Bleeding gums in children is a symptom seen in 45-63% of infants, and is a result of accumulating bacteria on the surface of the teeth, causing gum inflammation. Inflamed gums in children are related to two types of conditions: gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis in children is a mild condition, limited to the bleeding and inflammation of the gums. Periodontitis however, is much more serious, and can cause the loss of both temporary and permanent teeth. The prevalence of periodontitis in children is extremely low, affecting less than 1% of the population and tends to be related to problems with a child’s immune system.

Both childhood gingivitis and periodontitis are oral health problems which require early diagnosis by the dentist. In order to do this, a full gum examination is necessary, including a gingival probe through periodontal scans and x-rays to identify soft tissue damage and bone loss around the teeth. After a diagnosis of the condition the dentist should offer the appropriate treatment, which consists of an oral care and hygiene programme for children, and a deep cleaning of the gums to eradicate the bacterial deposits that have accumulated on the inside. With this treatment, the gums will recover, and then it will only be necessary to treat the condition every 6 to 12 months, depending on the child’s susceptibility to these problems.

Prevention is the most important factor in achieving optimum oral health in children. Showing them a good brushing regime, watching out for any worrying signs and symptoms, and scheduling regular visits to the dentist help to create the best basis for prevention. Remember that your child’s first visit to our clinic is free: book your appointment today.

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