While puberty gingivitis is a relatively common condition in teens and pre-teens, not very many people know about it. As with all types of gingivitis, it could result in periodontal disease if it isn't diagnosed and treated in its stages.
The Causes of Puberty Gingivitis
Puberty gingivitis is most common in preadolescent boys and girls who are between the ages of 11 and 13.
During these years, kids often begin to assert a little more independence, and their dietary and oral hygiene habits can go downhill because of reduced parental supervision.
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.
Being under continuous stress weakens the immune system and increases inflammation. High-stress levels, combined with poor oral health and hygiene, can cause gum disease to develop over time.
When these elements are combined, it puts children at a higher risk of developing gingivitis when they are going through puberty than at any other point in their lives.
The first signs of puberty gingivitis are inflammation and bleeding of the gums. The gum tissue might also be swollen, red, and not as firm to touch. Another possible symptom that may arise is bad breath.
Prevention is the best possible "treatment" for puberty gingivitis.
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 remain firm on this point to prevent gum disease from developing.
Make sure your pre-teen is thoroughly brushing their teeth for two minutes every day. Once in the morning and again at night before bed. It's also essential that they floss a minimum of once a day.
If your child has already developed gingivitis, periodontal therapy at your dentist’s office may help to get it under control. Mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine can be used to control the infection as well. Our Saskatoon dentists will also advise your teen on the correct brushing and flossing techniques for long-term dental health.