Can a 3 Year Old Have Gingivitis?
The short answer is yes. If your child suffers from symptoms such as bleeding, swelling or reddening of the gums, it could be caused by gingivitis. It is not uncommon for it to be the trigger for the symptoms mentioned, which parents often notice when brushing their teeth. But why does gingivitis develop in a child? How should parents react to this? And what preventive measures will help your child to avoid gingivitis?
Why your child has gingivitis
Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) usually occurs when bacteria are able to spread and multiply unhindered in the mouth of the child or small child. This is possible, for example, with poor oral hygiene. Sooner or later, the tiny troublemakers on the gums trigger inflammatory reactions with reddening or swelling. Bleeding gums are not uncommon.
As a parent, you should know that gingivitis is always serious. Even if your child does not complain of pain. There is a risk that gingivitis will develop into periodontitis. This is a painful infection of the periodontium that requires treatment. This consists of the jawbone and the tissue that surrounds the teeth.
However, if you take your child to the dentist early on, gingivitis is usually treatable. Tartar and plaque are usually removed professionally. Because it usually contains a large part of the inflammation-causing bacteria. In addition, you and the little patient will be explained what thorough dental care looks like. It is the be-all and end-all for your child's gingivitis to heal.
Can a toddler get gum disease?
Adolescents and adults in particular are often affected by gingivitis. But even small children who are in the second to third year of life can get gingivitis.1
Teething: what is it?
The term "teething" describes the piercing of the teeth. It happens earlier in some children than others. In many cases, however, the first tooth will appear six to nine months after birth.
When babies get their first teeth, this is sometimes expressed by:
- flushed cheeks
- loss of appetite
- restless sleep
- frequent crying
Even if the first teeth are not permanent, it is important to take care of them with good oral hygiene. Every tooth that breaks through in your child offers more surface for inflammatory microorganisms to attack, which can also lead to gingivitis in a small child. By about 20 months, most children will have all 20 baby teeth visible. From this point at the latest, thorough brushing of teeth should be an integral part of the child's everyday life.
Parents should take their child to a dentist as soon as they get their first tooth. In a dental practice, they are given detailed explanations of how good oral hygiene is carried out for a child and how clean teeth can prevent gingivitis. Regular and thorough brushing of teeth is the best prevention against gingivitis. It is therefore also important for a child or toddler. The constant removal of bacteria in the mouth reduces the likelihood of developing gingivitis.
When your child has the first set of teeth in their mouth, you should start brushing their teeth. A toothbrush is not needed in early childhood. In the first few months of life, for example, the following are suitable for cleaning:
- a damp gauze compress wrapped around your finger or
- a cotton swab.