Gum Disease (cont.)

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How is gum disease managed in children?

A child should start having his teeth brushed with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste beginning at 12-months old. As soon as the gaps between the teeth start to close, it is important to start flossing. At the beginning, the parents should establish a routine to brush the teeth so the child can get used to it. As soon as the child is able, the brushing and flossing should be passed over to him or her and monitored by the parent to ensure good thorough technique and consistency. A child should get regular dental visits starting at about 2 years of age. Abiding by these guidelines will effectively prevent and treat gum disease in most children.

It is common for there to be an increase in gingivitis during puberty due to the hormonal changes that occur throughout the body. Adolescents should be monitored for good oral hygiene habits and taken to the dentist regularly to treat gum disease with professional dental cleanings.

How is gum disease managed in pregnancy?

Many women who become pregnant think that they should avoid the dentist to keep their pregnancy safe, but they shouldn't miss their dental cleanings as long as they feel strong and comfortable enough. During pregnancy, women are at risk of developing pregnancy gingivitis. Because of the increase in hormones that occurs with pregnancy, the gum tissues are more susceptible to attack from bacteria and other pathogens. Pregnant women will often notice an increase in swollen, bleeding gums even if their oral hygiene has remained consistent. It may be necessary to get dental cleanings more often than usual during pregnancy to help combat this increased risk.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/13/2013

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