What is acute gingivitis in a child, what are its symptoms and methods of treatment at home, and how long is it treated in children with and without complications – all these are important questions that concern every parent when a doctor makes such a diagnosis. Inflammatory processes in babies, especially when visiting scientific institutions, are not uncommon. It is important to take action at the first sign before the disease becomes chronic.
What is gingivitis
The disease is an inflammation of the gums, which is accompanied by discomfort and other unpleasant factors:
- Bleeding and severe swelling;
- Redness and change in contours;
- Release of exudate;
- Bluing of soft tissues;
- Bad smell;
- Often hyperthermia;
- Burning and itching.
The diagnosis can only be made by a clinical examination by a dentist since most oral diseases can correspond to these symptoms. Many of them are very dangerous, especially for a child whose bite and molars are just beginning to form.
In the absence of adequate treatment, the pathology develops into periodontal disease, which requires constant monitoring throughout life.
Causes of gingivitis in children
The main factor is the reproduction of microflora and bacterial infections in plaque. Due to poor oral hygiene, deposits occur.
The amount of dangerous pathogenic flora depends on the duration and volume of pollution. The thicker the layer on the teeth, the more anaerobic bacteria begin to multiply, becoming the root cause of the inflammatory process. After all, hard and soft deposits are wonderful nutrient mediums for the growth and development of colonies of microorganisms. It is enough not to remove plaque for more than 1-4 days for a bacterial infection to cause inflammation and gingivitis itself.
At the same time, the disease does not occur in carriers with strong immunity. Usually, the protective forces of the child’s body are enough to fight the pathogenic microflora. The peak of calls to a specialist about inflamed gums is the autumn-spring period, when there is a lack of vitamins, walks in the fresh air, and, as a result, the fall of the protective barrier.
Among the main factors that provoke children’s gingivitis:
- Lack of proper oral hygiene;
- Incorrect bite, closely spaced teeth, which makes it difficult to remove plaque;
- Mechanical trauma to the gums during brushing or other activities;
- The use of excessively hot food, and liquids;
- Carious lesions;
- Poor quality treatment;
- Mobility of the dentition;
- Age-related process of changing teeth or their primary eruption.
The phenomenon is often accompanied by hormonal disruptions that pass during the period of growing up. Gum disease is especially common in adolescents at puberty.
Symptoms of gingivitis in babies
The course of the disease in children is most often observed in an acute form, which is easy to determine:
- When brushing your teeth, a lot of blood remains on the brush;
- Soft tissues due to damage as a result of a bacterial infection acquire a bluish tint;
- Pain occurs when biting food, drinking drinks;
- Swelling, redness, and secretion of serous contents.
If you have one or more symptoms, you should immediately contact your dentist. Only professional and high-quality treatment provided on time can prevent chronic inflammation of the oral cavity.
In an extreme form, destruction of tooth enamel and damage to teeth by caries is possible, and, as a result, further complex therapy, up to removal and prosthetics. As soon as possible, contacting a doctor at the first symptoms of inflammation will help to avoid complications.
Remember that mild gum disease responds quickly to treatment.
Types of gingivitis in children
In order for the doctor to create the most complete picture, there are several classifications of the disease. Each variety has its own clinical features, and methods of assistance and arises due to various factors. After treatment, strict monitoring is required to avoid relapse. This is especially true for babies because they are not able to carry out hygiene and other procedures on their own, so all the doctor’s recommendations fall on the parents.
It is associated with age-related changes. It most often occurs during a primary eruption or in the presence of a concomitant infectious disease. You can recognize it by soreness when eating and bleeding when cleaning. There is an unpleasant odor and loss of taste sensitivity. The child may complain of burning and itching in the oral cavity. On examination, redness can be seen.
Most often observed in children with an abnormal arrangement of dentition and malocclusion. Because of this, it is impossible to thoroughly clean all hard-to-reach places where plaque begins to accumulate and pathogenic microflora multiply. Bleeding is noticed, in the early stages, there is practically no soreness or redness. The attachment of the gums to the teeth is not disturbed. In advanced cases, it can become chronic.
The appearance is associated with hormonal disorders, most often occurring during puberty. May occur against the background of other diseases:
- Lichen planus;
- Pemphigus vulgaris;
- Permanent infections.
In the early stages, apart from bleeding during brushing, no symptoms are observed. At the transitional moment, the gums swell strongly, acquire a bright shade, and shine. In complex and advanced cases, purulent ulcers and erosion appear.
A complicated form occurs against the background of a long-term inflammatory process that has passed into the chronic stage. Redness will be pronounced, it is impossible to miss or not notice it during the examination. The taste of food will practically not be felt due to constant bleeding and the taste of blood in the mouth.
Appears if there was already a primary inflammation in the oral cavity – stomatitis. Concomitant factors are severe hypothermia and reduced immunity. At the same time, the child’s condition deteriorates sharply, he feels pain in the gums, and cannot swallow. Due to the inflammatory process, not only the gum tissue but also the tonsils can swell. On examination, ulcers with a serious putrefactive coating can be seen.
It often manifests itself as a medical error during poor-quality orthodontic treatment. Also, an abnormal attachment of the frenulum can become a provoking factor.
The child’s condition will be stable, there are practically no signs of inflammation. You may notice only slight redness, exposure of the teeth, and increased sensitivity to hot food.
Diagnosis of gingivitis
The diagnosis should be made by a doctor in a dental clinic, only he, during a visual examination, will be able to determine the status of the disease and differentiate it from many others, which at an early stage can manifest the same symptoms.
The main clinical signs by which the dentist can diagnose are:
- The presence of erythematous formations at the edge of the gums;
- Looseness, separation of soft tissues from the dentition, the occurrence of pockets of more than 3 mm;
- When pressed with a dental spatula, exudative and spots are observed, in some cases with a putrid odor;
- Obtaining the result of smears to determine the pathogen.
The last point is one of the main ones in making a diagnosis and prescribing adequate procedures. Depending on the type of bacteria that caused the disease, various antibiotics and antiseptics can be used to speed up recovery. Also, after collecting an anamnesis, based on diagnostic results, the doctor needs to identify the root cause in order to further prevent the risk of relapse.
How to treat gingivitis in children
Depending on the pathogen, the doctor will decide which procedures should be carried out to eliminate the inflammatory process. Among the main ones:
- Professional cleaning by hand or using ultrasound;
- Getting rid of poorly restored teeth, and orthodontic appliances;
- Treatment of carious lesions;
- Removal of unrecoverable roots;
- Withdrawal of drugs that can cause swelling;
- The appointment of rinses with the use of antiseptics;
- Use of broad-spectrum antibiotics;
- Baths and lotions with antibacterial agents, and medicinal ointments;
- If gingivitis has led to an abscess, then you will have to resort to surgical intervention, incision of the gums and removal of the contents of the pocket, installation of drainage;
- For hormonal reasons, glucocorticosteroids may be prescribed.
In any case, the main task of the doctor in the treatment of this disease is to relieve inflammation, restore beneficial microflora, and improve oral hygiene.
You can learn more about how to treat gingivitis in a child at an appointment with a dentist at the Dentika clinic, he will describe in detail all the procedures set the dosage of medications, and give the necessary recommendations.
Gels and ointments
Such preparations are used to improve hygienic conditions. In most cases, drugs are prescribed that have a pronounced analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic effect.
Additional components may be propolis, oak bark, and other components that help strengthen gum tissue.
From the age of 6, children can be prescribed:
- Metrogil Denta.
- Holisal and others.
The doctor determines the duration and frequency of use individually.
Rinse for gingivitis
One of the main methods of treatment is regular rinsing of the mouth with medicinal solutions. For them, medical antiseptics can be used, for example, Miramistin and Chlorhexidine. It is necessary to thoroughly rinse the mouth after each meal, at least 3 times a day.
Also, the doctor may prescribe saline solutions, which can be prepared at the rate of 1 tsp. salt per glass of water, 2 drops of iodine, 0.5 tsp. baking soda. No less effective means of combating anaerobic bacteria is Furacilin, the tablet is diluted in a glass of water.
In children under 1.5-2 years old, the procedure will be different. Instead of rinsing with antiseptics, a bandage or soft cloth is impregnated, which is applied to the gums. After lotions, the oral cavity is wiped with a solution.
Antibacterial drugs can be taken only under the strict supervision of a doctor. The appointment will be due to the presence of ulcerative and hypertrophic gingivitis. The correct differentiation of the diagnosis, as well as the determination of the dosage acceptable for children, is the task of the attending dentist.
Most often, the following medicines are used to eliminate the bacterial flora:
To avoid overdose and complications, do not self-medicate. This axiom is especially important in relation to children. Do not interrupt the course prescribed by the doctor, even if all the symptoms have already passed and the child feels well.
How long does gingivitis treatment take?
With complex therapy and maintaining proper oral hygiene, a noticeable improvement in the condition is observed after a couple of days. However, the full course in advanced cases can be up to 14 days. Important in the speed of recovery is the observance of all the recommendations of the dentist.
A home herbal first aid kit helps to cope with the symptoms at the level of complex procedures, together with adequate medical treatment. Using only decoctions will not help in the fight against serious bacterial lesions and the developing inflammatory process.
As an adjunctive therapy, decoctions are used from:
- Oak bark;
These herbs have a pronounced antiseptic, wound healing, and regenerative effect.
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For preparation, dried flowers, and leaves are mixed in equal proportions, placed in an enamel bowl, poured with two cups of boiling water, and kept in a water bath for up to 20 minutes. Then let it brew for another 40 minutes. The resulting mass should be filtered, and then rinse the mouth with liquid or make lotions.
Possible complications of gingivitis in children
If the disease is not treated in time, it leads to the development of periodontal disease, which takes a chronic form. To prevent tooth loss, you will have to visit the dentist regularly. This is not to mention the fact that the oral cavity is the beginning of the gastrointestinal tract, from where food enters the body, and with it microbes from inflamed gums. The bacterial infection will spread, causing inflammation in various organs and tissues. Especially often in children with gingivitis, angina, and respiratory diseases are observed.
In addition, it is diagnosed
- Development of various formations;
- Heart pathology;
- Infection of the jaw bones.
Predictions and prevention of gingivitis
Treatment in almost 99% of cases has a positive outcome. It is enough to resume oral hygiene care, eliminate the main foci of inflammation, and the child’s condition will return to normal.
How to treat gingivitis in children – it is better to prevent its occurrence, to ensure that there is no recurrence by following simple rules:
- Brush your teeth in the morning and in the evening, use dental floss, once every 3-4 months, and carry out professional cleaning in the dentist’s office;
- Use a brush that will not damage soft tissues;
- Take vitamins, maintain a normal immune system, regularly walk in the fresh air, and avoid hypothermia;
- When choosing a paste, pay attention to one that does not contain fluorine and abrasive particles;
- Change your toothbrush every 3 months (choose artificial fibers, they will not breed bacteria).
Now you know what gingivitis is in children, its causes, how to treat the teething ailment in babies, and what measures should be taken to prevent and relapse. Carefully follow all the recommendations of the attending physician, combine classic medicines with folk remedies, and speedy recovery will not take long.