In their preschool years, children have a lot going on in their dental system. Kids who are approaching three years may still be growing their milk teeth. At the age of five, many children start shedding the milk teeth. This stage is characterized by tooth sensitivity, sore gums, and other symptoms of dental development. Thus, gum disease can easily go unnoticed until it reaches severe stages. For this reason, it's crucial to regularly examine your child's teeth and gums and look for the following indicators of gum infection.
Sore or Bleeding Gums
Your child's gums may be swollen or sore if they are still developing milk teeth. However, if your little one has all their teeth, but they are still experiencing soreness, this could indicate a problem. Gingivitis is usually characterized by swollen gums which bleed even after light brushing. It is easily manageable through treatment. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, which is a severe form of gum disease.
Bad Breath Even After Brushing
Proper oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing after every meal can help prevent bad breath or halitosis. If your child suffers from bad breath even after brushing, flossing, or using a child-friendly mouthwash, they could be having dental problems. One common cause of halitosis is gum disease. The unpleasant breath is usually as a result of plaque buildup on the teeth. Plaque, in turn, creates a suitable environment for harmful oral bacteria. These produce toxins that irritate your child's gums and cause tooth decay.
Sensitivity to Hot and Cold Foods
If your child flinches when consuming hot or cold foods, they may have dental problems. Ideally, a three- or four-year-old may not be able to drink a cup of hot tea. However, if their teeth hurt when they eat things like ice cream, cold shakes, or moderately hot foods and beverages, they may have sensitive teeth and gums. Sensitivity can result from bad habits such as applying too much pressure when brushing the teeth. However, it could also be due to gum irritation or infection, especially if your child's gums are red or swollen or the teeth covered with a pale yellow film.
Too Much Spacing Between the Teeth
When a child has widely spaced teeth, your first thought as a parent is to get braces for them. However, before you do so, note that too much spacing could be as a result of gum disease. Gum disease causes the gum line to recede and leave spaces between the teeth. A closer look at your child's teeth will reveal a receded gumline with swollen or red gums. If left untreated, gum recession could cause the teeth to become loose or fall off.
Visit a periodontist for proper diagnosis and treatment if you notice the signs of gum disease in your preschool child.