Should I Worry About my Child’s Bleeding Gums?

Adults are not the only ones who experience bleeding gums. Children may also be affected. And there are several possible reasons for bleeding gums in children and adults alike:

  1. Gingivitis

The most serious cause of bleeding gums is gingivitis, the initial stage of gum disease. And it can affect kids, too—particularly older children. Hormones triggered by puberty can make gum tissue prone to swelling and sensitivity. Keeping up good hygiene habits is critical at this stage. Signs that your child has gum disease include redness, swelling, tenderness, a receding gum line and bad breath.

If your child experiences any of these symptoms, be sure to check in with their dentist so gum disease can be detected—and treated—early on, as the effects of gingivitis can prove hard to reverse.

  1. Flossing

A regular flossing routine is the best way to maintain healthy gums and avoid the buildup of plaque. If your child skips flossing for a few days, they may experience bleeding until resuming the routine again. Until your child is around 10 years old, you may wish to assist with flossing to ensure it is done correctly. Any mild bleeding of the gums from flossing should subside after a few days, once the gums become less sensitive. If bleeding persists beyond a week, or if gums become red or irritated, contact your child’s dentist to check for signs of gingivitis.

  1. Toothbrush Type

When your child uses a new toothbrush for the first time, the bristles may be quite firm and abrasive to gums. We recommend always buying brushes with soft bristles, which are gentler on gums and no less effective at cleaning.

  1. Medications

A side effect of some medications is inflamed and bleeding gums. If your child has just started taking a new medication, monitor the appearance of gums. Ensure your child uses a soft toothbrush and sticks to their brushing and flossing routine. If bleeding persists for more than a week, consult your child’s doctor.

  1. Brushing Technique

When kids are first learning to brush their teeth, they often use more force and pressure than necessary. Over time, vigorous brushing can irritate gum tissue and cause bleeding. Model for your child a gentle brushing motion that reaches every tooth, and if necessary, assist your child with brushing until they can do it themselves.

If your child experiences frequent or persistent bleeding gums (lasting beyond a week), get in touch with Kids Dental Group. Call or visit us at one of our convenient locations in Markham (905 294 0995), Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) or Stouffville (905 642 3642).