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Periodontal Disease

Leeward Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric Dentists located in Waipahu, HI

Your child’s teeth tend to get all the attention, so it’s sometimes easy to forget that their gums need proper care, too. Periodontal disease (gum disease) is one of the leading causes of tooth loss, however, so it’s important to keep your child’s gums healthy and strong. Leeward Pediatric Dentistry offers exceptional treatments for periodontal disease at their warm and friendly clinic in Waipahu, Hawaii. Schedule your visit today by calling the office or making an appointment with the easy-to-use online tool.

Periodontal Disease Q & A

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of your child’s gum tissue. It happens when plaque and tartar sit on your child’s teeth for too long. Plaque and tartar are full of harmful acids and bacteria that irritate your child’s gums, which leaves them inflamed and eventually infected.

Periodontal disease happens in two distinct stages. The first stage, gingivitis, simply irritates your child’s gums. It makes them gums swollen, red, and tender, and they can sometimes bleed when your child brushes their teeth or flosses.

The good news is that gingivitis doesn’t do any irreversible harm to your child’s smile, and it can be entirely eradicated and reversed with improved at-home dental hygiene and more regular visits and cleanings with the team at Leeward Pediatric Dentistry.

If you don’t treat your child’s gingivitis, however, it can progress into the second stage of periodontal disease: periodontitis. When your child has periodontitis, their gum tissue begins to pull away from their teeth in order to avoid the irritating plaque and tartar buildup.

When their gums pull away, it creates pockets where their teeth enter their gums. These pockets collect even more debris and bacteria, which causes the gums to pull away, even more, creating even deeper pockets that can eventually lead to tooth loss.

What are the signs of periodontal disease?

Some of the signs that your child might be developing periodontal disease include:

  • Gums that are red, tender, or swollen
  • Bleeding when they brush, floss, or eat hard food
  • Loose teeth
  • Sores in their mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Pus around their gumline

Though all of these symptoms sound noticeable, periodontal disease is actually known to develop silently, meaning that its symptoms frequently go unnoticed until the disease has already progressed into its more advanced stages.

The team at Leeward Pediatric Dentistry is able to recognize signs of gum disease at the earliest stages, however, which is why it’s so important for your child to maintain regular cleanings and checkups with the team. By catching gum disease early, your dentist can provide better and less invasive treatment for your child’s smile.

How do you treat periodontal disease?

Leeward Pediatric Dentistry offers safe, friendly, and effective gum disease treatment. For most patients, they’ll recommend a procedure called scaling and root planing (SRP).

Scaling is a special type of deep cleaning. When your dentist scales your child’s teeth, they remove the irritating plaque and tartar from both above and below the gumline.

Then, they’ll root plane their teeth, which involves smoothing down the surfaces of their tooth roots. This makes it harder for plaque and tartar to accumulate and gives their gums a smooth and clean surface to which to reattach.

As long as your child is suffering from gum disease, Leeward Pediatric Dentistry recommends having checkups and cleanings every three months (instead of the typical six-month intervals) until they’re back on track and their gums are looking healthier.

They also teach your child better preventive care and dental hygiene habits to help prevent them from developing gum disease again in the future.

Schedule your child’s periodontal disease treatment today by calling Leeward Pediatric Dentistry or booking a visit online.