Gum disease might seem like something only adults suffer from but it affects people of all ages. So, while teens may feel – and often appear to be – indestructible, their gums tell a different tale.
TeenHealth.com reports that 60 percent of 15-year-olds already have gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. Even more sobering, other studies show that teenage girls may be at higher risk of gum disease due to their hormonal changes.
This is bad news for teenagers, who may have bad breath or sore gums as the result of gingivitis. But there’s also good news: gum disease can easily be treated and prevented.
Treatment of gingivitis usually involves a scaling and root planing treatment (SRP) – also known as “deep cleaning” – to remove plaque and tartar buildup below the gum line. Just one SRP treatment can reverse the signs of gingivitis and prevent gum disease from progressing.
After SRP treatment, prevent gingivitis from returning by: brushing at least twice daily, flossing at least once daily, getting dental cleanings twice a year AND eating healthy foods. The last one might be the biggest challenge since eating tooth-and-gum-friendly foods trip most teens up; sweets, sodas, energy drinks and sports drinks are all heavily marketed to and largely consumed by teenagers.
You can make it easier for your teen to choose healthy options for their teeth and body by ensuring the refrigerator is always stocked with things like fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese and water.
If your teen suffers from gingivitis, or you’re concerned about his or her oral healthcare habits, give us a call for an appointment. We’re definitely here for you and serve as an essential barrier against gum disease.