Children going through puberty can be at risk of developing puberty gingivitis. Today, our Courtenay dentists talk about the causes of puberty gingivitis and how it can be prevented.
Puberty gingivitis is a very common but not very well-known condition in preteens and teenagers. As with any form of gingivitis, it may progress to more serious periodontal disease if it is not identified and treated early on.
What Can Cause Puberty Gingivitis?
Puberty gingivitis is most common in preadolescent boys and girls who are between the ages of 11 and 13.
Children during these years, generally tend to start asserting a bit more independence, their oral hygiene and diet could also go downhill as a result of reduced parental supervision.
Most of the time puberty gingivitis is caused by a combination of poor diet and oral hygiene habits, as well as elevated hormone levels during puberty (that increases the sensitivity of the gums to accumulated dental plaque). Poor nutrition can make it challenging for the body to fight off infections, which puts children at a higher risk of developing gum disease.
Teens that chew tobacco, vape, or smoke have a higher risk of developing gum diseases than teenagers that don't smoke.
When the body is under continuous stress the immune system weakens and inflammation increases. High-stress levels, on top of poor oral health and hygiene, can lead to the development of gum disease over time.
This combination of factors makes gingivitis more of a risk for young people going through puberty than it would be at other times in their lives.
Puberty Gingivitis Symptoms
Puberty gingivitis symptoms include bleeding and inflammation of the gums. The gum tissue may also become red, swollen, and less firm to the touch. Bad breath can also be a symptom.
Treating Puberty Gingivitis
The best "treatment" for puberty gingivitis is prevention!
As your children get older and more independent, they may be less inclined to listen to their parents about maintaining good oral health. Parents must remain firm on this point to prevent gum disease from developing.
Ensure that your pre-teen brushes thoroughly for two full minutes in the morning and again before bed, and flosses carefully at least once a day.
If your child has already developed gingivitis, periodontal therapy at your dentist’s office may help to get it under control. Mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine can be used to control the infection as well. Our dentists in Courtenay will also provide your child with advice on proper techniques for brushing and flossing for long-term optimal dental health.