What is Causing My Child’s Swollen Gums?

Swollen gums in kids is something that parents should be concerned about, as it may indicate an underlying dental problem that requires prompt treatment. The most common cause is gum disease, but there may also be other potential causes. If left untreated, swollen gums may get worse and eventually lead to tooth loss and other more serious oral health consequences later in life.

Learn more about swollen gums, their causes, and treatment options by reading this article.

Gum Swelling and Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that affects the gum tissue, causing it to swell and bleed easily upon slight manipulation. It is generally a painless condition, but some individuals claim to experience mild pain or discomfort when chewing or brushing their teeth. Painless forms are often left untreated for a long time, as the patient may not be aware that he or she is suffering from it. If left untreated, gingivitis leads to periodontitis — a more severe form of gum disease.

Periodontitis, in addition to swollen gums, presents with the following additional symptoms:

  • Loose gums that pull away from the teeth
  • Foul breath that seems to persist even after brushing
  • Wiggly teeth that are very sensitive to cold or heat
  • Pus that ooze out when the gum is pressed

How Gingivitis and Periodontitis Develop

Gingivitis and periodontitis result from poor oral hygiene. If your kid does not brush his or her teeth as well and/or as often as they should, plaque will accumulate on the surfaces of the teeth. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar. Thus, it is recommended to get rid of plaque early on by teaching your kid proper oral hygiene.

Tartar is a calcified deposit that cannot be removed by just regular brushing. If there already is tartar buildup on your kid’s teeth, the only way to get rid of it is by bringing your kid to the dentist for professional cleaning.

Heavy tartar buildup especially above the gum line, is something that must be treated as soon as possible. Plaque and tartar house lots of bacteria that over time can irritate and damage not just the gums, but the bony tooth socket as well. Serious consequences can be expected if the gum disease is left untreated.

Other Possible Causes of Swollen Gums

Apart from gum disease other reasons that can bring about swollen gums include oral trauma, dry mouth, and malnutrition.

How Swollen Gums are Treated

Swollen gums, especially if severe, must be treated as soon as possible. Your kid’s dentist, after thorough clinical examination, must be able to point out the cause of swollen gums. Once the cause is identified, appropriate treatment can then be rendered, the most common of which is professional cleaning, a.k.a. SCALING

Looking for a dentist who can help with swollen gums? Find a Kool Smiles partner dentist near you!