Posted on: 2 February 2022
Puberty is a milestone in any young person's life. Childhood is giving way to the teenage years, with adulthood seemingly just around the corner. Parents might be less enthusiastic when they consider what might lay ahead (dating, parties, general teenage rebellion). But did you know that puberty can increase the risk of certain dental conditions for your child?
Puberty and Gum Disease
Puberty gingivitis is pretty self-explanatory. It's a form of gingivitis that strikes during puberty. Like other forms of gingivitis, it's not especially concerning in isolation, but delaying treatment sharply increases the risk of the condition developing into a more serious type of periodontal disease. But why is puberty often associated with gum disease?
It's largely due to the hormonal changes your child is experiencing as they enter puberty. These changes are especially relevant when regular menstruation begins, but puberty gingivitis is not necessarily limited to any one gender. These hormonal changes can alter the body's response to the microorganisms that form dental plaque, which can calcify and become tartar, which causes the gum inflammation known as gingivitis.
Symptoms and Complications
There's no real clinical difference between puberty gingivitis and other forms of the condition. It still leads to inflamed gums, which may bleed easily when brushing and flossing. Without treatment, the alterations to the gums can lead to them literally pulling away from the bases of your child's teeth. The underlying jaw will also be affected, and teeth will eventually loosen and then detach. Clearly, such an outcome will be extremely difficult and expensive to treat. However, gingivitis itself isn't difficult to treat.
A Formative Period
Yes, gingivitis can affect anyone at any age, but puberty is a formative period for your child (after all, they're still growing). It's highly-treatable, and robust oral hygiene at home is your child's best defense. This defense must also include regular dental checkups, so it's vital that your child continues visiting the children's dental care specialists at your local pediatric dental clinic, like Dentistry For Children & Adolescents. Professional cleaning will banish any accumulated tartar, a procedure which can't be done at home, and gingivitis should then subside without the need for further intervention.
Parents shouldn't be alarmed about the possibility of puberty gingivitis. All you really need to do is remind your child about the importance of diligently brushing and flossing, while also making sure that they don't slack off with their regular dental checkups.Share