Contrary to popular opinion, periodontal disease doesn’t only affect adults. Young people, even children, are also susceptible to periodontal disease. As a matter of fact, chronic gingivitis is very common in children and adolescents. As in adults, gingivitis in children is treated with a thorough professional cleaning and daily brushing and flossing. With proper treatment, gingivitis is reversible, but like in adults, if left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis with eventual tooth loss and health risks.
Early onset periodontitis is a group of periodontal diseases that affects young people. It
is a bacterial infection of the supporting tissues of the teeth that
results in bone destruction and can eventually progress to tooth loss.
onset periodontitis can be associated with systemic diseases such as
diabetes, disorders of the white blood cells, Down’s syndrome, or
AIDS. thorough medical examination, including
blood tests, should be performed to rule out any systemic problem when
there is a diagnosis of early onset periodontitis.
There are three forms of early onset periodontitis:
1. Pre-pubertal periodontitis: When children are affected before puberty, the condition is associated with severe inflammation of the gums (they become red, swollen, and tender), rapid bone loss, mobility of the teeth and eventually tooth loss. This condition can be localized around a few teeth or generalized, affecting the entire dentition. Both primary (baby) and secondary (permanent) teeth can be affected.