Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. If left untreated, the teeth will loosen from the gum resulting in eventual loss of teeth. The main cause of this disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth.
You might think that periodontal disease will only be found in adults but studies show that gingivitis (the first stage of periodontal disease) is found in children and teens. Chronic gingivitis is found in children who exhibit swollen gum tissue, which is red and bleeds without difficulty.
Gingivitis, if not treated, can lead to aggressive periodontitis which affects young teens’ first molars and incisors. Be aware that if your child has an advanced form of this disease, it may be an early sign of systemic disease such as diabetes. A general medical evaluation should be considered for children so that the appropriate treatment can begin.