How is Gingivitis Treated in Children?
Healthy gums are pale pink with a pitted, scalloped appearance around the teeth. The gingiva is however very variable from one patient to another and from one tooth to another: it is like the skin, its function is to protect the underlying tissues and therefore the teeth, and there are gums fragile and more resistant gums. The thinness of the gums is the main source of fragility, a thick gum rarely exceeds 1 mm in thickness, while a thin gum can measure less than 0.5 mm in thickness. This fragile mucosa is stretched over bone, and two fibrous tissues connect the teeth to the gums on the one hand (the cementum), and the teeth to the bone on the other hand (the dental ligament). Thus, the periodontium is composed of 4 tissues, and the gingiva is the only one of the four that is visible.
Gingival diseases in children and adolescents have long been misunderstood. Many parents are surprised when they are told that their children have gingivitis. However, many young people are unfortunately affected by it…
Indeed, a study conducted in a few primary schools reveals that:
* 71% of 2nd graders suffer from gingivitis. For these same young people, 86% showed an average level of debris accumulation on their teeth.
* As for the 6th grade students, 82% had gingivitis and 33% showed signs of bleeding. Finally, 77% showed a medium to high level of debris accumulation on their teeth.
What is gingivitis?
It’s gum disease. This happens due to plaque buildup, which is a sticky and invisible layer that develops on the gums and teeth. It is manifested by a few signs:
* bad breath
* gum recession (root exposure or loosening of teeth)
Every day, hundreds of bacteria grow in your child’s mouth. Therefore, brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily and regular visits to the dentist are very important in maintaining good oral hygiene habits.
In addition, one should also be aware that genetics can be a factor. If a family member is prone to periodontal disease, you should take hygiene precautions and discuss this with your dentist.
And the treatment in all this?
When your dentist performs the dental examination, he will be able to make his diagnosis. An x-ray may possibly be taken to ensure that the jawbone is not affected. The treatment of gingivitis mainly consists of doing a good scaling, mouthwash with an antiseptic and a specific toothpaste will be recommended.
Quickly detected, your dentist can easily cure the problem of gingivitis. In the absence of proper care, it can turn into periodontitis. It is a more serious problem that attacks the tissues surrounding the tooth, down to the bone. It is caused by bacteria that grow in the periodontal pockets. In more advanced cases, this can cause the loss of the tooth.
Children and adolescents need supervision, coaching and regular visits to the dentist. They must adopt healthy hygiene habits at a very young age in order to maintain good dental health until adulthood.
The dentist and the hygienist play an important role in improving oral health by advising young people and parents on good hygiene habits.