By James Pechloff, DDS
July 26, 2019
Category: Dental Conditions

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends you bring your child to your Wauwatosa family dentist by the age of one year gumdiseaseor whenever that first baby tooth appears. Too soon, you think? Think again. Dr. James Pechloff sees young children with the mild form of periodontal disease called gingivitis. Parents, be aware of the signs of this potentially devastating condition and how to prevent it.


The number one cause of tooth loss

Do you know what it is? It's gum, or periodontal, disease. Young children typically get the mild form, gingivitis. However, this oral health problem can progress, particularly through the teen years when hormone levels fluctuate and oral hygiene habits are spotty.

Also, periodontal disease appears to run in families. Whether this trend relates to dietary and oral hygiene habits or simple genetics, the research isn't 100 percent clear. However, because your Wauwatosa family dentist treats entire families, he spots trends in oral health problems such as gum disease, decay, poor dental bites, and more.


Signs of periodontal disease

What causes gum periodontal disease, regardless of the age of the patient? Bacteria, present in plaque and tartar, over run the gums and interdental spaces. An infection develops, and the resulting inflammation instigates an increasing number of symptoms such as:

  • Bleeding, especially when brushing or flossing
  • Gum tenderness, redness, and swelling
  • Pus in pockets between the teeth and gums
  • Really bad breath
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Shifting dental bite

Unfortunately, advanced periodontal disease cannot be cured. However, it can be managed through careful in-office cleanings and other treatments and through disciplined brushing and flossing at home. A healthy, low-carbohydrate diet, hydration through adequate water intake and smoking cessation encourage healthy gum tissue.

Fortunately, children usually exhibit only the mildest signs of gum disease, or gingivitis. Plus, they have not yet succumbed to the detrimental lifestyle choices (alcohol and tobacco, for instance) which ruin oral health. Usually, a thorough professional cleaning will start a child on the path to healthy gums.

Parents do need to be vigilant about their children's diet, brushing, flossing, and routine examinations and cleanings with Dr. Pechloff. These habits will pay big dividends in terms of beautiful teeth and healthy gums through the teen years and adulthood.


Healthy smiles

Whatever your stage or walk of life, family dentist, Dr. James Pechloff and his team will help you and your loved ones enjoy good oral health. That includes staying free of periodontal problems. Call the office in Wauwatosa, WI, today to arrange your family's check-ups and cleanings. We especially enjoy visits with the youngest of our patients. Phone (414) 475-5505.