What is Causing My Child’s Swollen Gums?

If your child has swollen gums, you want to find out the cause as quickly as possible. Swollen gums can be a sign of a serious dental problem like gum disease (also called gingivitis or periodontitis). Without treatment, gum disease can lead to serious health problems later in life.

Read more to learn the cause of your child’s swollen gums. 

Is Gingivitis the Cause of My Child’s Swollen Gums? 

Gingivitis causes the gums to swell and bleed, turning them a deep red color. Some people experience pain while brushing their teeth and eating, while others experience no pain at all. Because gum disease is sometimes painless, many people have it for years without ever knowing. 

Other symptoms of gingivitis:

  • Gums that back away from the teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away
  • Visible pus around teeth
  • Teeth that are extremely sensitive to hot or cold

Causes of Swollen Gums Due to Gingivitis

Gingivitis is usually caused by poor dental hygiene and can be prevented by brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day. If your child does not brush their teeth often enough, plaque (a sticky film that covers teeth) can build up and harden into tartar.

Tartar cannot be removed by brushing. If you child has tartar buildup, taking him or her to the dentist for a professional cleaning is the only way to remove it. 

Tartar that develops above the gum line can be especially serious, since it contains bacteria that can irritate or damage the gums. Over time, this inflammation can lead to progressive gum disease, which can have serious consequences if left untreated.

Other Causes of Swollen Gums

Although gum disease is the most common cause of swollen gums, there are other reasons your child’s gums might be swollen, including malnutrition, dry mouth, and oral trauma. 

Treatment for Swollen Gums

If your child is experiencing swollen gums, take him or her to the dentist as soon as possible for a dental exam. Prompt treatment can help reverse the symptoms of gum disease and prevent it from getting worse. Treatment for gum disease usually involves a simple procedure called scaling.

Schedule an Appointment at Kool Smiles Today

Kool Smiles is a network of general, family, and pediatric dentists that provide dental care to children all over the United States. We accept Medicaid, TRICARE, SCHIP, and most other major insurance plans. Contact us today to make an appointment or find a Kool Smiles dental office near you. 

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Sources:

Web MD: http://www.webmd.boots.com/oral-health/guide/tartar-dental-calculus-overview

PatientConnect365: https://www.patientconnect365.com/dentalhealthtopics/article/when_swollen_gums_are_not_caused_by_gingivitis 

OralB: http://www.oralb.com/topics/details-of-dental-scaling.aspx