Due to the sudden influx of hormones, irregular oral habits, and a love for sugary or carb-laden foods such as sweets and pizza, teenagers are prime candidates for gingivitis. Fortunately, you can play a major role in helping yours avoid gum disease and other oral problems. Even if they are showing signs and symptoms of gingivitis, the problem is reversible. Provided the disease is caught in its early stages, you and your dentist can work as a team to show your teenager how to get rid of gingivitis and prevent it from recurring.
Regular brushing and flossing may not be your teenager’s idea of the coolest thing to do but it’s a sure-fire way of preventing gingivitis and/or reversing its effects. But what exactly is gingivitis and why does it occur?
It’s an inflammation of the gums that is mostly caused by a failure to remove plaque from the mouth. Amongst other things, plaque contains billions of harmful bacteria which can build up on teeth and around the gumline. If left it will harden into tartar and irritate and inflame the gums. While symptoms associated with gingivitis aren’t normally painful, they shouldn’t be ignored as it can develop into a more advanced form of gum disease.
So what are the obvious signs and symptoms of gingivitis?
• Bleeding gums when brushed and/or flossed
• Gums that recede from the teeth
• Gums that are swollen and tender, or are….
• Deep red or purplish colour
Another unpleasant side effect is bad breath which just won’t go away.
By removing plaque on a daily basis, your teen is assured of a healthy mouth.
Keep an eye on your daughter!
Most of us blame changing hormones for turning our children into moody teenagers but were you aware that hormones can also increase the risk of your teen daughter in particular, developing gum disease? Why is this?
Oestrogen and progesterone both cause the flow of blood to the gum tissue to increase. This in turn causes greater sensitivity and makes gums more susceptible to irritation and disease. It’s understandable that your teen may not be overly concerned about how to treat gingivitis when she’s already got such a lot going on. But why not capitalise on the fact that girls are better at taking care of their teeth and tell her that the more care she lavishes on her pearly whites now, the less chance there is of her developing oral problems further down the line.
Encourage healthier eating
As well as improving oral health to eradicate infected gums, encouraging your teen to eat healthy food is important. Given the choice teenagers are always going to snack on unhealthy foods – you probably did when you were their age! The trouble is that sweets and fizzy drinks are full of sugar which bacteria love to feast on. Did you know that a diet lacking nutrients can make it harder for the mouth and soft tissues to resist infection and gum disease?
If you want to know how to stop gingivitis naturally then one way is to serve up healthy well-balanced meals, and to have a variety of healthy snack foods around the house. For example, fruits which contain vitamin C are good for building strong healthy gum tissue, and cheese, milk, meats, and nuts are said to remineralise teeth enamel. Many vegetables are also good for both gums and teeth.