Puberty gingivitis is a relatively common condition that can affect teenagers and preteens as they undergo puberty. As with any kind of gingivitis, this condition can progress to more serious periodontal disease if it isn't promptly identified and treated early on.
What causes puberty gingivitis?
Puberty gingivitis is most common in preadolescent boys and girls who are between the ages of 11 and 13.
During your child's earliest years, kids may often assert more independence and because of this, their oral hygiene and dietary habits may decline a bit with 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 vape, smoke or chew tobacco will also tend to be more likely to contract gum disease than their peers who don't smoke.
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.
The combinations of factors all work together to make gingivitis more of a risk for people who are going through puberty than 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 child grows and develops, they become more independent and less inclined to listen to their parents about the importance of maintaining good oral health. Parents should remain firm on their point to help prevent the development of gum disease in the child's mouth while it is still developing.
Ensure that your pre-teen brushes thoroughly for two full minutes in the morning and again before bed, and flosses carefully at least once a day.
If your child already has developed gingivitis, periodontal therapy offered at your dentist's office may help to get the condition under control. Mouthwashes like those that contain chlorhexidine can control the infection too.
Our Camrose dentists will also advise your teen on the correct brushing and flossing techniques for long-term dental health.