As a parent, you look out for a lot of things to make sure your kids grow up strong and healthy. When it comes to your kids’ oral health, it’s usually cavities that come to mind first. After all, the risk of cavities is high in kids, since they’re still learning good oral hygiene habits and often love sugary food and drink.
But did you know children face other oral health problems too? While preventing cavities is often every parent’s dental care priority, many parents are surprised to learn that kids can suffer from gum recession too. That’s right—what often affects adults can also affect children.
If you’ve noticed your child’s gums receding, it’s best to take them to a periodontist in Etobicoke. What starts as gum recession can also lead to tooth decay and premature tooth loss. Start by finding out what causes gum recession in children.
What is gum recession?
Gum recession is a periodontal condition that causes the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth. When left untreated, the gums will recede so badly that the roots of the teeth will become visible. Eventually, this can damage the jawbone and cause the teeth to fall off.
While gum recession is often thought to affect people in adulthood, children can also suffer from this. It’s important to remember that receded gums don’t grow back. This leaves your kids’ gums and teeth vulnerable during crucial stages of development, and even well into adolescence and adulthood.
Causes of Gum Recession in Children
Now that you know gum recession can affect everyone, at all ages, it’s helpful to know how you can protect your kids’ gums, so their teeth are properly supported and protected from childhood to adulthood. Let’s start by finding out what causes gum recession in children.
Did you know that some people are genetically predisposed to having thin gums? Thin gum tissue is then more susceptible to recession. If thin gums run in the family, there’s a good chance that your kids will inherit this too.
And while genetic makeup isn’t a behavioural or oral hygiene issue that you can easily address, there are steps you can take to prevent gum recession from progressing. The important thing is to take your child to a periodontist in Etobicoke right away if you suspect that their gums are receding, in order to prevent further adverse effects, such as infection in the teeth and bone.
2. Periodontal disease
Another common cause of gum recession in kids—and adults, too—is periodontal disease. This occurs when bacteria and plaque build-up along the gum line, eventually depleting gum tissue that protects the teeth.
When left untreated, gum recession due to periodontal disease can cause pain to the gums and teeth, as well as loss of gum tissue. Severely receded gums can lead to weakened support for the teeth, causing them to feel “wiggly” or be dislodged from the dental socket. Early detection and treatment of gum recession and periodontal disease can prevent these.
3. Aggressive brushing
Is your child learning to be more independent? One of the most important things children learn at a young age is maintaining good oral hygiene habits. The problem is, not all kids are brushing their teeth properly.
When your child is learning how to brush their teeth, make sure to teach them the proper technique. Too often, children can be aggressive in their brushing and exert too much pressure on the gums, rather than using gentle strokes and a circular motion. If this habit isn’t changed, your child could end up experiencing gum recession at a young age.
4. Teeth grinding and clenching
Another common behaviour among children is grinding and clenching teeth. Unfortunately, grinding and clenching exert pressure on the gums, which damages the tissue and causes gum recession.
In addition to gum recession at a young age, children who grind and clench their teeth also end up with poorly growing teeth. Not only are baby teeth damaged, but the growth of permanent teeth later on can be affected as well. Because of this, it’s important to discourage your child from grinding and clenching as early as possible.
5. Misaligned bite
Crooked, misshapen, and irregularly located teeth all mean one thing—a misaligned bite. A severe overbite, for instance, results in contact between the lower front teeth and the gum line of the upper teeth. This constant contact can hurt and damage the gums, resulting in gum recession.
If your child’s bite is misaligned and has caused gum recession, your periodontist may recommend orthodontics. Well-fitted braces can correct the alignment of your child’s bite, ensuring that their teeth continue to grow in the right location, with proper spacing. This will also prevent further gum recession as they grow up.
Start Them Young: Get Your Child Treated for Gum Recession in Etobicoke
As you’ve seen, there’s more to children’s oral health than preventing cavities. With children also at risk for gum recession, parents like you now have one more thing to worry about. This is why at Periodontal Associates, we’re dedicated to helping you provide the best care for your kids in Etobicoke.
Our team of periodontists in Etobicoke are here to provide comprehensive periodontal care at all ages. We believe that lifelong oral health requires a solid foundation. If your child is already showing signs of gum recession, it’s crucial that we identify what’s causing it, and put a stop to it right away to prevent worsening over time. By starting young, we can help you make sure that your child grows up with strong and healthy gums.
Have you noticed your child’s gums getting thinner or their teeth appearing longer than they should? Find out if your child is experiencing gum recession, and get early treatment from a certified periodontist in Etobicoke.