Puberty gingivitis is a relatively common condition in preteens and teenagers, but not many people know about it. As with all forms of gingivitis, it could lead to periodontal disease (a more serious condition) if it goes undiagnosed and isn't treated early.
The Causes of Puberty Gingivitis
Puberty gingivitis is most often seen in preadolescent girls and boys that are between 11 and 13 years old.
During these years, kids often begin to assert a little more independence, and their dietary and oral hygiene habits can go downhill as a result of reduced parental supervision.
Generally, puberty gingivitis is caused by a combination of poor oral hygiene habits, diet, and 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 that vape, chew tobacco or smoke are typically at a higher risk of developing gum disease than those 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.
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.
The symptoms of puberty gingivitis include bleeding and inflammation of the gums. The gum tissue could also become swollen, red, and less firm to the touch. Bad breath may also be a symptom.
How It's Treated
The best "treatment" for puberty gingivitis is prevention!
As kids get older and become more independent, they might be less inclined to listen to their parents in regards to maintaining good oral health. Parents have to stay firm to help prevent their kids from developing gum disease.
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 has already developed gingivitis, periodontal therapy at your dentist’s office may help to get it under control. Mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine can be used to control the infection as well. Our Carbonear dentists will also advise your teen on the correct brushing and flossing techniques for long-term dental health.