If you notice your young child or toddler with gums that are swollen and bleeding, it should be a cause for concern. But don’t panic. In most cases, the issue causing the gums to bleed is easy to diagnose—and even to fix. You simply need to follow a few easy steps to help you identify the root cause of the problem.
At Toothfairy Pediatric Dental in Reno, we often treat children with sore and bleeding gums. Here are six steps you should take if you notice that your child or toddler’s gums are swollen and bleeding.
1. Check That They’re Brushing Their Teeth
This has to be the top of the list, because tooth brushing is the foundation of good oral health. Your child should be brushing their teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. Regular tooth brushing ensures that bacteria and food particles are swept away, which keeps plaque from forming.
If your child doesn’t brush their teeth twice a day, they’re at high risk of conditions like gingivitis, which is a disease of the gums that appears due to poor dental hygiene. One of the early warning signs of gingivitis? Gums that are swollen and bleeding. Toddlers are especially at risk of gingivitis because they are still in the process of forming good tooth brushing habits.
2. Check Their Toothbrush
Another common cause of gum swelling and bleeding is a child that is using the wrong toothbrush. There are two concerns that you should consider:
- Are the bristles too hard? Most children should use a soft-bristled toothbrush for brushing their teeth twice a day.
- Does the brush need to be replaced? You should purchase a new toothbrush for your child once every three months. A toothbrush that has old bristles can sometimes do more harm than good.
Make sure your child is equipped with an effective toothbrush and a cavity-fighting toothpaste for the best results.
3. Check Their Toothbrushing Form
If your toddler’s gums are still swollen and bleeding, check out their tooth brushing form. You may find that they are applying too much pressure on the brush, causing the gums to bleed. This is a common problem for children who are just learning to brush their teeth on their own.
The solution is simple: monitor your child’s tooth brushing routine to ensure they’re applying the right amount of pressure to their brush.
4. Check Their Medication
Did you know that your child could be dealing with bleeding, sensitive gums because of prescription medication? If your child is taking medicine that lists dry mouth as a side effect, you may have found the culprit. Contact the prescribing doctor and explain your concerns. They may be able to lower the dosage or even prescribe a different medication altogether.
5. Check for Loose Teeth
You may not think that your toddler or young child is ready to have a tooth fall out, but it’s possible that their bleeding gum comes from a loose tooth. Did you know that children as young as four years old can have baby teeth fall out naturally? Take a closer look and check for wobbly teeth!
6. Make an Appointment With the Pediatric Dentist
Occasionally, there will be no simple explanation for why your toddler’s gums are swollen and bleeding. If the previous five tips do not yield any answers, it’s time to call your child’s pediatric dentist to set up a visit. They’ll be able to give your child detailed teeth cleaning and checkup to find what’s amiss.
It’s likely that your child will need safe pediatric dental x-rays to give a peek at what’s going on below the gumline. By using all the tools at their disposal, your child’s dentist will be able to give you a probable cause for why your toddler’s gums are swollen and bleeding, and they’ll be able to tell you how to work on fixing them.
ToothfFairy Pediatric Dental in Reno Can Help
If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist in the Reno area, you need to call our offices at Toothfairy Pediatric Dental. We have a team of experts that are ready to help your child have their best smile possible. We offer full-service pediatric dentistry and orthodontics all under the same roof. We even have family-friendly appointments available in the evenings and on Saturdays to better fit with your busy schedule.
Toothfairy Pediatric Dental accepts most forms of dental insurance, including Medicaid. If you have questions about your toddler’s swollen and bleeding gums, contact us today. We’d be glad to help you.