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What Gum Disease Looks Like In Toddlers, Teenagers, Adults & The Elderly

Gum disease can affect people of every age, from toddlers to teens to seniors, anyone can have their oral health affected by gum disease. The team at Eastside Family Dentistry wants to make sure you know what gum disease looks like at every age and how you can prevent it from harming your oral health.

Gum Disease and what it looks like

Kids & Gums Disease

Gum disease is less common in toddlers and children compared to adults. Cavities (tooth decay) are a more common issue during childhood due to diets high in sugar and improper oral hygiene habits. However, that doesn’t mean kids can’t get gum disease. 

Typically, though, this is limited to gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease), which is reversible with proper care. In toddlers and children, gum disease usually causes symptoms like:

  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Gum puffiness
  • Gum recession that makes teeth appear longer
  • Bad breath

If you notice these signs and symptoms, your child may have gingivitis. Come in for a visit right away to get your little one the care they need to get back to optimal oral health.

Gum Disease & Teenagers

The risk of gum disease can be higher in teenagers than it is for younger children. Braces, for example, may make it harder to clean the teeth and gums properly, leading to gum disease. Bad dietary habits like drinking soda and eating starchy, sweet junk food can also lead to gum disease. Smoking and tobacco use can also increase the risk of gum disease.

Teenagers, like children, are more likely to suffer from gingivitis than advanced gum disease (periodontitis). Gingivitis causes gum inflammation and swelling, but does not permanently damage the teeth.

However, teenagers can still develop periodontitis without proper oral hygiene. If it is left untreated, gum disease can eventually cause the teeth to become loose and fall out. 

Gum Disease & Adults

Nearly half of all adults 30+ years and older have gum disease. As you grow older, gingivitis is more likely to progress into irreversible periodontitis. 

The signs of gingivitis remain the same. Look for things like bleeding gums, swollen and puffy gums, and persistent bad breath. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of a more serious case of periodontitis that you should look out for as an adult include:

  • Tooth shifting or movement
  • Gum recession
  • Teeth sensitivity to heat, cold and pressure
  • A bad taste in your mouth that won’t go away

If you think you have gum disease as an adult, it’s critical to get help right away to prevent it from progressing.

Know What To Expect From During Every Stage Of Life!

Gum disease affects people of all ages. So know the signs, what to expect from gum disease, and how to prevent it. Maintain proper oral hygiene habits throughout your life, and make sure you see Dr. Cristescu for regular teeth cleanings and oral exams.

Need help with gum disease in Issaquah? We’re here to help. Just contact us now at (425) 391-9200 to schedule an appointment, or stop by our office at 175 NE Gilman Blvd, Suite 101, Issaquah, WA 98027. 

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