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Does periodontitis affect children differently than adults?

Periodontitis is not very common in children. Instead, it is most commonly found in adults. Children and teenagers may, however, suffer from gingivitis, a gum disease that can lead to periodontitis in later life. Children should be taught good dental hygiene from an early age.

Periodontitis, or gum disease, affects children and adults similarly. However, older adults are more likely to have periodontitis. In fact, about 35% of adults in the United States have some form of periodontitis. Another 50% have gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease.
Periodontitis does not usually affect children because it is a very advanced stage of gum disease. Chronic periodontitis can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time. If it does, your teeth will feel loose and start moving around in your mouth. This is the most common form of periodontitis in adults but can occur at any age. It usually gets worse slowly, but there can be periods of rapid progression.

Aggressive periodontitis is a highly destructive form of periodontal disease that occurs in patients who are otherwise healthy. Common features include rapid loss of tissue and bone and may occur in some areas of the mouth, or in the entire mouth.

Good oral hygiene and having a healthy balanced diet are important for children. As your child gets older and starts taking care of his own teeth, make sure he brushes two times a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes and flosses daily to be Mouth Healthy for Life.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.