Signs Your Child Has Gingivitis — What Every Parent Should Know

As a parent, you do everything you can to keep your children healthy. However, one area that often goes overlooked is their oral health. The truth is that gingivitis is surprisingly common in children, and it can cause serious problems if left untreated. But how can you tell if your child has gingivitis? In this blog post, we'll explore the signs and symptoms of gingivitis in children and discuss what you can do to prevent and treat it.

Red, Swollen Gums

One of the most noticeable signs of gingivitis is red, swollen gums. Gingivitis causes inflammation in the gums, which can make them look puffy, irritated, and tender to the touch. You may also notice that your child's gums bleed easily when they brush their teeth or eat hard or crunchy foods. If you see any of these symptoms, it's important to take your child to the dentist to determine if they have gingivitis.

Bad Breath

Another common sign of gingivitis is chronic bad breath, or halitosis. This is caused by the bacteria that grow as a result of the inflammation in the gums. If your child has persistent bad breath, even after brushing their teeth and using mouthwash, it could be a sign of gingivitis. In some cases, the bad breath may be accompanied by a bitter or metallic taste in the mouth.

Receding Gums

Gingivitis can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, exposing more of the tooth's surface and creating pockets that can harbor bacteria. This is known as gum recession, and it can lead to tooth sensitivity, pain, and even tooth loss if left untreated. If you notice that your child's gums are receding or if their teeth appear longer than usual, it's important to schedule a dental appointment right away.

Sensitive Teeth

When the gums recede, it can expose the sensitive roots of the teeth, which can cause pain and discomfort. If your child complains of tooth sensitivity when they eat or drink hot, cold, or sweet foods, it could be a sign of gingivitis. This is especially true if the sensitivity is accompanied by other symptoms, such as redness, swelling, or bleeding gums.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Finally, poor oral hygiene is a major risk factor for gingivitis in children. If your child doesn't brush and floss regularly, or if they don't use the right techniques, they can leave plaque and bacteria on their teeth and gums, which can lead to inflammation and gingivitis. Encourage your child to brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day, floss daily, and use mouthwash to help prevent gingivitis.

Gingivitis is a common problem in children, but it's not something to be ignored. If left untreated, it can cause serious damage to the teeth and gums. By paying attention to the signs and symptoms of gingivitis in your child, you can take proactive steps to prevent and treat it. 

Contact a family dental care provider near you to learn more.