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Does Your Child Have Gum Disease?

People of all ages can develop gum disease, a dangerous condition which if left untreated threatens both the dental and overall health of patients, regardless of age. That is why here at TLC Family Dentistry in Lee's Summit, MO, Dr. Jamie Thurman-Taylor and Dr. Erica Ketchem watch for signs of gum disease in children and show families how to prevent it. Does your child have gum disease?

Your child's gums

Working to support, protect, and nourish one's teeth and underlying bone, gums are a vital component of proper dental functionality. However, just like your child's teeth, gums also collect bacteria through the acclamation of plaque and tartar. To remove these organic residues, it is essential to preserve a strict regimen of brushing, flossing, and receiving hygienic cleanings at our Lee's Summit office. As you might imagine, many children don't maintain the most disciplined dental routine, a neglect which leads to a proliferation of gum disease-breeding micro-organisms.

Poor nutrition (too much sugar, too few fruits and veggies, etc.) and even heredity also contribute to the symptoms of gum disease. , Additionally, older children and teens are more prone to the condition because of fluctuating hormone levels.

What's the big deal?

Gum disease varies in severity from mild gingivitis (the most common form of gum disease in kids) to advanced periodontitis which loosens teeth, degrades the jaw bone, and contributes to diseases such as Type-2 diabetes and hypertension. In other words, gum disease is a big deal!

Symptoms of gum disease in kids

Bleeding, bad breath, and gum tenderness/redness are the most common signs of periodontal disease in children. Periodontal pockets (i.e. the spaces between gum tissue and tooth roots) also deepen and collect pus as the disease progresses.

Avoiding gum disease

While symptoms of gum disease may not be particularly obvious to you or your child, your dentists at TLC Dentistry can readily detect them. That's why six-month cleanings and check-ups are so important for all family members. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says that you should take your little one for his or her first check-up by the age of one.

As parents, you should also attempt to model healthy dental habits at home. For example, you can push water as the beverage of choice, as well as supervise your child's twice-daily brushing and flossing sessions.

Give us a call!

To learn more about gum disease and how to guard against it, talk to Dr. Thurman-Taylor and Dr. Ketchem for tips and strategies on oral hygiene and diet at home. Call the office today at (816) 537-6161 to book your child's routine check-up and hygienic cleaning. We look forward to seeing you!

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