Receding gums can pose a problems for children who wear braces. Not only can gum recession cause pain and bleeding, it can also slow the progress of orthodontic treatment. If your child experiences bleeding or inflamed gums, or if the gum tissue seems to be pulling away from the teeth, make an appointment with the orthodontist.
He or she will perform an examination, and possibly refer your child back to the pediatrician for further evaluation and treatment. Here are three risk factors for pediatric gum recession and what you can do about them:
Degenerative Bone Disorders
If you child has a degenerative bone disorder such as juvenile arthritis, he or she may be susceptible to gum recession. When the bones that support the teeth and jaw are damaged as a result of arthritic conditions, gum tissue may retract from the bone.
This can be especially troublesome for kids who wear braces because if the bones that support the teeth are not healthy, braces will do little to correct bite problems or crooked teeth. If your child suffers from juvenile arthritis, make an appointment with the orthodontist, who will monitor your child's oral health so that potential problems can be recognized and treated early.
Medications used in the management of epilepsy or other seizure disorders can cause gum overgrowth. Otherwise known as gingival hyperplasia, overgrown gums can raise the risk for a serious type of gingivitis known as periodontitis.
This can cause gum recession, bone destruction, oral bleeding, and tooth loss. In addition to oral manifestations, gingival hyperplasis can also alter your child's appearance. If severe, gum overgrowth may cause your child to feel subconscious and sad, and may prevent him or her from interacting with others at school.
If your child takes anti-seizure medications and complains about painful braces, visit the orthodontist. The braces may need to be adjusted, or in extreme cases, be removed until the gum tissue heals.
Periodontitis is a serious type of gum disease. It not only causes deep red gum tissue, it can also cause significant oral bleeding, pain, infection, and bone destruction. If diagnostic imaging tests reveal the presence of periodontitis, the orthodontist may refer your child to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease, for further evaluation and treatment.
A scaling and root planing may be recommended to help remove excess tartar and plaque buildup underneath the gums, which will help heal your child's gum tissue.
If your child wears braces and has any of the above conditions, work with both the orthodontist and pediatrician. When both of these doctors are involved in your child's care, he or she is less likely to experience oral complications such as gum recession, periodontal disease, and tooth loss. Contact a clinic, like Reed & Sahlaney Orthodontics, LLP, for more help.