Gum disease is something that likely doesn't spring to the front of your mind when you think about your child's oral health, but maybe it should. If your child consumes a lot of sugar, it could be putting them at risk for more than just cavities. Here's why you should be concerned about gum disease, too.
The root cause behind cavities is bacteria, and the same can be said for gum disease. Gum disease tends to happen when too much bacteria is in the mouth and it creates an infection in the gums.
The problem here is that bacteria feeds upon sugar and carbohydrates. It's their basic source of nutrition and fuel. So when your child eats a lot of sugar, it fuels the bacteria and can increase their risk of developing gum disease.
Bacteria can infect the gums directly, but that's not all they do. The plaque that they create is a byproduct produced after they eat sugar. This plaque can cause problems for teeth, but it causes issues for gums, too.
Plaque is not good for gums. It increases inflammation and can cause swelling. To make matters worse, plaque can act like a sort of bandage, sealing the gums in with the bacteria that produce the plaque. This helps to protect the bacteria from being brushed away with a toothbrush, and increases the inflammation and risk for infection in your child's gums.
Prevention and Treatment
Obviously, cutting down on sugar is one of the first things you can do to help your child. But that's not all you can do, nor all that you should do.
For home prevention, flossing is the number one way of preventing and healing early stage gum disease. However, it can be difficult to get a child to floss, let alone having them floss the right way. Instead, using a water flosser is a good idea. They're just as good at removing plaque and bacteria from under the gums, and they're easier to use, too.
Secondly, make sure that your child is visiting a dentist on a regular basis. Dentists can not only detect gum disease, but they can treat it, even if it's in the later stages. And it's especially important to treat it if it is in the later stages, as advanced gum disease can put your child's teeth at risk.
Gum disease is something that all parents should be aware of and concerned about. If your child eats a lot of sugar, try to cut down on the amount that they consume and implement these other tips to keep their gums healthy. To learn more, contact an office like Dentistry For Children & Adolescents.
Do you remember the last time you were really proud of the way your smile looked? I used to feel like I could smile confidently, and then I broke a few of my teeth during a bad car accident. I realized that I needed to find a great dentist who could help, and I was able to find an incredible dental practice in my city that could help. I worked with them to have my teeth repaired, and it was a really great feeling to see how much better my teeth were looking. Now I can smile confidently, and it has changed my entire life. Check out this blog to learn more about finding a great dentist.