Pediatric Health Conditions That Can Cause Gingivitis

The most common cause of gingivitis is children is poor oral hygiene. While improper or infrequent brushing and flossing can cause gum disease, there are other, less common causes. Here are some pediatric health conditions that may raise your child's risk for developing gingivitis, and what you can do about them:

Juvenile Diabetes

If your child has juvenile diabetes, he or she may experience a number of disturbing symptoms. These include weight loss, urinary frequency, vision loss, and lethargy. In addition to these, oral symptoms such as fungal infections and gum disease can develop.

If your child has high levels of glucose in his or her bloodstream, chances are that high concentrations of glucose are also present inside the mouth. Because of this, your child's oral cavity may be a breeding ground for bacteria, which can raise the risk for gum infections, inflammation, and gingivitis. If your child develops gum disease as a result of juvenile diabetes, make an appointment with a children's dentist. He or she will perform a thorough oral examination and recommend an effective treatment plan to help reverse the effects of gingivitis. 

Autoimmune Disorders

Autoimmune disorders such as hypothyroidism may also raise your child's risk for developing gingivitis. Certain autoimmune diseases can cause salivary gland malfunction, which can severely slow salivary flow. When this happens, your child may not produce enough saliva in order to wash away germs inside the mouth; because of this, gingivitis may develop.

The children's dentist can recommend a special mouthwash for your child that will help keep the oral tissues moist and prevent dehydration inside the mouth. You should also encourage the young person to drink plenty of water throughout the day to help wash away oral microorganisms.

In addition to visiting the dentist on a regular basis, seeing the pediatric endocrinologist regularly will help make sure that pediatric autoimmune disorders are being monitored and well-managed. 

If your child develops gingivitis or bleeding gums despite an excellent regimen of oral hygiene, a visit to the pediatrician is warranted to rule out juvenile diabetes, autoimmune disorders, or other medical conditions.

In the meantime, visit the pediatric dentist so that he or she can examine your child and recommend an effective treatment plan to help reverse gingival disease. Treatment for pediatric gum disease may include using a water jet dental appliance, flossing on a regular basis, and in some cases saltwater rinses and antibiotics.