Why Does My Child Have Swollen Gums? What You Should Know

Kids of all ages may have swollen gums at some point, and while this issue isn’t always a cause for concern, it’s a good idea to know what may be causing swollen gums, and whether or not you should see a dentist about it. 

So in this blog from Willow Pediatric Dentistry, we’ll explain a few of the most frequent causes of swollen gums. Read on to learn more, and remember to contact Dr. Sam for an appointment at our office if you’re concerned about your child’s oral health. 

1. Teething

Teething is a very common cause of swollen gums in kids. As their baby teeth and permanent teeth erupt, the nearby gums will tend to swell and look inflamed. The area will be tender, and the area may even be discolored slightly.

This is all normal. If your child’s gums are swollen near erupting or newly-erupted teeth and they aren’t experiencing any kind of discomfort or bleeding, this is the most likely cause. You don’t need to see a dentist about it. Just keep maintaining good oral hygiene, and keep seeing Dr. Sam for your child’s regular six-month visits to make sure your child’s mouth is healthy. 

2. Improper Oral Hygiene

If you’re not brushing your child’s teeth properly and consistently,  or they’ve started brushing their own teeth and are not doing a great job, this could result in bacteria buildup in the mouth. The gums will react to this bacteria by swelling up. 

This is the precursor to gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. To avoid this, make sure you use proper technique if you’re still brushing your child’s teeth. If they’re now brushing on their own, you should supervise them to make sure they brush for at least 2 minutes, and clean their teeth and gums thoroughly. 

3. Gingivitis

Over time, poor oral hygiene can combine with a few other risk factors, such as a diet high in sugar, to lead to gingivitis. This is the first stage of gum disease. It’s reversible with proper care, but you need to see a dentist like Dr. Sam to get professional treatment, and make changes to your child’s lifestyle and oral care to reverse the disease.

If your child’s gums are swollen, discolored, tender, and bleed easily when brushing or flossing, these are all common signs of gingivitis. You may also notice that their breath smells bad. If you notice these symptoms, get help from Dr. Sam at Willow Pediatric Dentistry right away.

4. Infected Tooth 

If your child’s gums are only swollen near one or two teeth, and their tooth also feels sensitive or they have a toothache, this could be a sign of a tooth infection. Tooth infections within the tooth and between the tooth and gums can cause the gums to swell up. This is the body’s natural reaction when a lot of bacteria are present. 

An infected tooth is very serious. Left untreated, the tooth will die and will require extraction, and the infection could spread in the meantime. If you suspect an infected tooth, contact Willow Pediatric Dentistry for an emergency appointment ASAP.

Concerned About Your Child’s Gums? Come To Our Office Today!

Dr. Sam is a board-certified pediatric dentist, and the child-friendly team at Willow Pediatric Dentistry can provide you with the care your little one needs for a healthy mouth. Whether you’re worried about swollen gums, or you just need a caring, kind dentist to take care of your child’s oral health, we’re here for you. Contact us online or give us a call at (949) 966-0669 to get started.

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