Puberty gingivitis is a fairly common but not well-known condition in adolescents. Like any other form of gingivitis, this condition can develop to serious periodontal disease if it is not caught and treated early on.
What causes puberty gingivitis?
Puberty gingivitis is most common in preadolescent children between the ages of 11 and 13. During these formative years, kids are becoming a bit more independent, which means their diet and oral hygiene habits are a bit more up to them with reduced supervision. As a result, diet and oral health can decline.
Puberty gingivitis is usually caused by a combination of poor oral hygiene habits and diet, combined with elevated hormone levels during puberty (which increase the sensitivity of the gums to accumulated dental plaque). Poor nutrition can make it challenging for the body to fight off infections, which puts children at a higher risk of developing gum disease.
Teens who smoke, vape, or chew tobacco tend to be more likely to contract gum disease than non-smoking peers.
High-stress levels, combined with poor oral health and hygiene, can also contribute to gum disease developing over time. A child under stress is at greater risk of developing oral health conditions.
This combination of factors makes gingivitis more of a risk for young people going through puberty than it would be at other times in their lives.
Puberty gingivitis symptoms include bleeding and inflammation of the gums. The gum tissue may also become red, swollen, and less firm to the touch. Bad breath can also be a symptom.
The number one best treatment for puberty gingivitis is to avoid it altogether!
As your children get older and more independent, they may be less inclined to listen to their parents about maintaining good oral health. Parents must implement healthy dental hygiene practices into their children's daily lives and remain firm that they live up to them.
Ensure that your pre-teen brushes thoroughly for two full minutes in the morning and again before bed, and flosses carefully at least once a day.
If your child has already developed gingivitis, your dentist may recommend periodontal therapy. Mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine can be used to control the infection as well. Our Orangeville dentists will also advise your teen on the correct brushing and flossing techniques for long-term dental health.