Periodontal disease is simply a dental disease that occurs around the tooth in the gums. Periodontal diseases are also called gum diseases and are typically caused by a bacterial infection in the gums and surrounding tissue. With the assistance of our pediatric dentists, we can help you and your child identify the warning signs of periodontal disease and keep their smiles happy and healthy!
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is caused by a serious bacterial infection in the gums and surrounding tissues. Periodontal disease isn’t typically painful, so it is important to maintain optimal oral care to protect your smile.
Periodontal disease can cause damage to gum tissue and tooth enamel potentially resulting in tooth loss, if not cared for. Our expert pediatric dentist at Rector Dental and Orthodontics will work with you and your child on oral health and to help minimize their risk of gum infection.
What Causes Gum Disease?
When it comes to periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, there are several, but certain, reasons that may cause the infection to develop. The causes may include:
- Mouth breathing, which leads to severely dried out gums and front teeth.
- Poor diet
- Poor oral hygiene
- Uncontrollable clenching or grinding of teeth
- Certain medications
It is important to discuss family dental health history with your child’s dentist to help determine if genetics put your child at risk for periodontal disease. Also, discuss your child’s health history with your pediatric dentist to ensure current health issues or medications won’t be a risk factor for gum disease.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Although periodontal disease isn’t normally painful, there are several symptoms to note to catch gum disease in its early stages. Talk to your child’s dentist if you notice any of the following symptoms.
- Red, swollen gums
- Receding gum lines
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Persistent bad breath
- Loose or separating teeth
- Changes in the alignment of teeth or jaw
Discuss any changes in your child’s smile with their dentist to ensure they grow into a happy, healthy lifetime of smiles!
Common Gum Diseases
There are a few different types of gum disease, ranging from mild to advanced stage periodontal disease.
- Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease and typically causes the gums to become red and swollen. With gingivitis, bleeding in between gums when brushing or flossing is a common symptom.
- Mild periodontitis: If gingivitis goes untreated, it may result in mild periodontitis. Mild periodontitis causes periodontal pockets in the gums, causing a crevice between the top of the tooth and the gum line. Tooth loss or a bad taste in the mouth are also signs of mild periodontitis.
- Moderate to advanced periodontitis: This is the most advanced stage of periodontitis and includes symptoms such as significant bone loss, receding gum lines in the surrounding teeth, and loose teeth that may require extraction.
Treatments for Periodontal Diseases
Depending on the stage of periodontal disease, there are a variety of treatment options to bring your smile back to optimal oral health. Your dentist will start by removing plaque through a procedure called scaling or root planing. This removes the plaque beneath the gum and the infected tissue in the early stages to help the gum reattach to the tooth.
Your child’s dentist may prescribe a topical medication to apply to the periodontal pockets to fight the bacterial growth that causes periodontal disease. For advanced stages of periodontal disease, surgery may be necessary to clean the infected area and reshape the damaged tissue.
Additionally, a great dental health routine can help fight periodontal disease. Brush your teeth daily with fluoride toothpaste to help fight tooth decay and the bacteria that cause gum disease.
Call Today to Schedule an Appointment with Rector Family Dental & Orthodontics
Our dental team is here to take care of your child’s smile and help create a lifetime of healthy smiles. Schedule an appointment with Rector Family Dental & Orthodontics today!