Yes. Just like adults, children can have gum disease. Children can suffer from different types of gum disease or periodontal disease. It is also, generally caused by the accumulation of bacterial plaque on teeth due to poor oral hygiene.
There are different forms of gum disease in children:
Gingivitis is the most common form of gum disease in children. Just like in adults the gums become swollen, red and can bleed easily. They might or might not be painful. If not treated it can also progress to periodontitis.
This is type of gum disease is found in teenagers and young adults. It affects the first set of adult molars and the front teeth or incisors. In this case patients present with severe bone loss and usually do not have an amount of plaque that justifies the extent of the disease.
Generalized Aggressive Periodontitis
In this case the patient presents with heavy plaque and calculus, gums are very swollen and all or most teeth are affected. It can begin around puberty.
Certain risk factors might make your child more prone to gum disease:
- Poor oral hygiene
- A family history of gum disease
- Mouth breathing.
- Malocclusions or problems with the bite, crowding, etc.
- Poor diet lacking nutrients.
- Certain medications, like phenytoin and cyclosporine can cause inflammation and overgrowth of the gums.
Your dentist will be able to assess, diagnose and recommend the appropriate treatment for your child.