Learning to Take Better Care of Your Family's Teeth

Causes Of Pediatric Periodontal Disease

If your child experiences bleeding and swollen gums, drainage oozing out of the gums, gum recession, or bad breath, then make an appointment with a dentist for kids. These signs and symptoms may mean that your child has periodontal disease, and if not treated quickly, damage to the bones that support your child's teeth may develop, as might tooth loss. Here are some causes of pediatric periodontal disease to discuss with your child's dentist.

Crowded or Crooked Teeth

If your child has misaligned teeth because they are crooked or crowded, then they may be at a greater risk for developing periodontal disease. Crooked or crowded teeth are more difficult to clean, and because of this, even though your child brushes and flosses regularly, they may be unable to effectively remove plaque from between the teeth and under the gum line. If plaque is not removed, it will harden into tartar, and over time, cause gum disease.

If your child's dentist determines that the young patient is at risk for periodontal disease as a result of misaligned teeth, then you may be referred to an orthodontist. The orthodontist will examine the child's oral cavity to determine if they are a candidate for braces. After the braces treatment has been completed, the risk for periodontal disease will decline.

Certain Prescription Medications

If your child takes certain prescription medications, then their risk for gum disease may rise. For example, certain medications used in the treatment of epilepsy or other seizure disorders may lead to gingival hyperplasia. This condition causes the gums to enlarge and grow over the teeth, and in certain cases, between the spaces of the teeth. Gingival hyperplasia can cause gum infections and gingivitis, and if left untreated, severe periodontal disease and tooth loss may occur.

Your child's primary care physician can lower the dose of the seizure medication to see if this will help stop the progression of gum hyperplasia. Although high doses of seizure medications are more often responsible for gum problems, they can also develop when a child is on the lowest dose. If a lower dose fails to improve the condition of your child's gums, then the dentist may refer your child to a periodontist for further treatment.

If your child has signs and symptoms of periodontal disease, make an appointment with the pediatric dentist. The sooner periodontal treatment is implemented, the less likely your child will be to develop oral bone loss and loose teeth.

For more information, contact a local dentist that offers services like dental care for kids.