Treating gum disease in children in Dubai

Posted OnAugust 13, 2020

Just like gum disease found in adults, it’s possible for children to develop it during their young years if their oral health is not taken seriously.  Poor oral hygiene habits will allow plaque to build up on their teeth, causing symptoms such as red, swollen and bleeding gums, which will be extremely painful and irritating to a young child.

Gum disease in children is both preventable and treatable, with a regular oral hygiene routine of brushing, flossing and professional dental care with a Pediatric Dentist.

So what is gum disease and how are dentists treating gum disease in children in Dubai?

What is gum disease?

Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, is a bacterial infection of the gums that surrounds your teeth.  It occurs when plaque accumulates in the gums, causing various symptoms such as inflammation and irritation.  Gum disease can range from mild to severe forms, with a mild infection showing signs of bleeding gums while you brush your teeth or biting into something hard, like an apple.

Since gum disease develops slowly over time, most patients don’t even realize they have it, as they usually only visit a dentist when their symptoms have become more painful.  By this time, the gum disease is already at a severe stage, and the pain, swelling, bleeding and irritation is very noticeable.

If left untreated, gum disease can spread to the bone tissue, which is known as periodontitis.  The inner layer of the gum and the bone will begin to pull away from the teeth, creating tiny pockets where food and bacteria continue to collect.  As the infection spreads, toxins are formed that break down bone and connective tissue, causing tooth loss.

Treating gum disease in children

If your child is complaining of tooth or gum pain, it is important for them to see a Pediatric Dentist in order to properly diagnose gum disease and which stage they may be at.

Most commonly, the vast majority of children will only ever develop acute gingivitis, which is due to the lack of a proper daily oral hygiene routine with regular brushing and flossing.  Gum disease in children can only ever become chronic if they suffer from severe dental neglect from lack of parental care and supervision.

In rare cases, usually due to children living in the most remote areas or under severe dental neglect, will a child ever develop Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG), a severely painful and orally debilitating condition of the gums.  If this is left untreated, the child will grow to develop Necrotizing Ulcerative Periodontitis (NUP), which is the most extreme form of gum disease ever seen in a child.

Only in extremely rare cases will a child ever develop periodontitis, where the child will have an underlying immune dysfunction, such as Juvenile Periodontitis (Aggressive Periodontitis), Papillon Lefèvre Syndrome, etc.

What signs of gum disease in children should you look out for?

Some signs of acute gingivitis may include:

  • Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Inflammation and tenderness of the gums
  • Separation of the gums and teeth

What treatments are available for children with gum disease?

If your child is showing signs of gum disease, your Pediatric Dentist will prescribe the following treatment:

  • Professional cleaning
  • Use of a topical fluoride
  • Possible use of antibacterial mouthwash, only if prescribed and under medical supervision of your Pediatric Dentist

How to treat gum disease in children at home after in-clinic treatment

After your child’s treatment at the clinic, there is a strict oral hygiene routine that must be followed in order to ensure proper care is taken for their gum disease:

  • Brushing 3 times a day with a fluoridated toothpaste as prescribed according to the child’s age
  • Flossing 2 times per day to remove interdental plaque
  • Possible use of antibacterial mouthwash, only if prescribed and under medical supervision of your Pediatric Dentist

Starting from infancy, children should have two regular visits to the Pediatric Dentist per year to help parents stay on top of their child’s dental healthcare routine.  Encouraging your child to brush and floss regularly will not only teach them good habits, but will help remove plaque from teeth to ensure they do not develop gum disease.

At Dr Joy Dental Clinic, we want to ensure your child’s oral hygiene is properly taken care of.  If your child is experiencing any signs of gum disease, such as swollen, tender or bleeding gums, please contact us on 800-DRJOY (37569) to book a consultation with one of our Specialist Pediatric Dentists to learn more about how we treating gum disease in children or by clicking here.

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