Puberty gingivitis is a common but little-known condition that affects preteens and teenagers. As with any form of gingivitis, if it is not identified and treated early on, it can progress to more serious periodontal disease.
What causes 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 typically caused by a combination of poor oral hygiene and diet, as well as increased hormone levels during puberty (which increase the sensitivity of the gums to accumulated dental plaque). Poor nutrition can make it difficult for the body to fight infections, putting children at a greater risk of developing gum disease.
Teens who smoke, vape, or chew tobacco are more likely to develop gum disease than their nonsmoking peers.
Constant stress weakens the immune system and increases inflammation. Gum disease can develop over time as a result of high-stress levels combined with poor oral health and hygiene.
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 best "treatment" for puberty gingivitis is prevention!
As your children grow older and more self-sufficient, they may be less likely to listen to you about maintaining good oral health. To prevent the development of gum disease, parents must maintain their firm stance on this point.
Ensure that your adolescent brushes thoroughly for two minutes in the morning and again before bed and that he or she flosses thoroughly at least once a day.
If your child already has gingivitis, periodontal therapy at your dentist's office may help to control it. Chlorhexidine-containing mouthwashes can also be used to treat the infection. Our Calgary dentists will also teach your teen proper brushing and flossing techniques to ensure long-term dental health.