Family laughing together by a lake.


Although severe periodontal (gum) disease is rare in young children, the early signs of it such as inflammation and bleeding in the gums can be seen in toddlers. This is a sign that a bacterial infection has started due to inadequate or inconsistent removal of plaque from the teeth. This sticky plaque has bacteria which produce toxins, irritating the gums. The body's response to these toxins leads to further inflammation in the gums. Additionally there is evidence that carbohydrates also contribute in gingivitis (inflammation in the gums) due to the general inflammation caused by carbohydrates.

  • The good news is that this inflammation if present in young children is reversible simply by improving brushing and flossing technique and thoroughness.

More severe forms of gum disease do develop in pre-teens and adolescents. If left to progress, it will eventually result in further breakdown of the gums and bone and may result in tooth loss as an adult.

  • The good news is that unlike most pediatric dental offices, we have hygienists on staff who are able to do more thorough screenings, preventive maintenance, and therapy for older kids who are developing gum disease.