Do Children Develop Gum Disease?

When it concerns your child’s oral health, there is no issue too obscure to worry about, including gum disease. However, since the condition is typically associated with older adults, many people mistakenly believe that gum disease cannot be a threat until well beyond childhood. The truth, though, is that the forces behind gum disease–the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the US–begin working much sooner than you might realize. Without proper education, good hygiene, and professional dental care, your children may be as susceptible to destructive gum disease as any adult.

What is Gum Disease?

As the name suggests, gum disease affects the soft gums, or periodontal tissues, that surround and protect your teeth below their crowns. Before your gums become diseased, they first become infected by overwhelming numbers of oral bacteria (the foundation of dental plaque). Known as gingivitis, the bacterial gum infection causes the tissues to grow red and inflamed, and to bleed occasionally (more often as it progresses). When gingivitis is left untreated, it matures into gum disease, and irritation becomes destruction as the disease ravishes your gums and jawbone.

Children’s Risks of Gingivitis and Gum Disease

The biggest risk factor of gingivitis and gum disease is poor/irregular hygiene and dental care. If your children do not brush and floss often enough, or if you do not bring them for routine dental visits, then plaque and bacteria can grow exponentially on their teeth and gums. If your child wears braces, then his/her risk of gum disease, as well as cavities and other dental issues, may also be higher. Besides teaching your children to care for their smiles at home, it is important that you also help them grow accustomed to visiting their family dentist on a regular basis so we can closely monitor their dental health and development.


As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.