Gingivitis and Periodontitis
The initial stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, is the mildest form of gum disease and is common in children. During this stage, the gums become swollen and red, and may bleed after brushing or flossing. Gingivitis is frequently painless, so your child might not mention any problems. With professional treatment and daily attention to oral hygiene, gingivitis can be reversed before it progresses. Untreated gingivitis may develop into periodontitis, the more extreme form of gum disease.
Aggressive periodontitis can affect your child even if he or she is otherwise healthy. Localized aggressive periodontitis is found in teenagers and young adults. It mainly affects the first molars and incisors and is characterized by the severe loss of jawbone. Generalized aggressive periodontitis may begin around puberty and involve the entire mouth. It is marked by inflammation of the gums and heavy accumulations of plaque and tartar. Eventually it can cause the teeth to become loose.