During childhood there are a number of reasons why red swollen gums may appear. These illnesses and conditions can range from oral hygiene problems to cancer and should be taken seriously to determine the root cause so treatment or corrective habits can be implemented.
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One of the most common reasons for red, swollen and sometimes bleeding gums is the disease gingivitis. The gums become inflamed and tender and may bleed on occasion, especially when brushing, according to WrongDiagnosis.com. Poor brushing and flossing habits are common in children, and if the thorough removal of food particles and plaque between the teeth and gum line are not done regularly, it can lead to gingivitis. Gingivitis can lead to more serious oral health problems such a periodontitis if it is not corrected. Other symptoms of gingivitis include bad breath and the separation of the gums from the teeth.
A fungal infection in the mouth, commonly referred to as thrush, is a yeast fungus that can result in red, swollen gums. Newborn babies are at a higher risk for thrush than other children as a significant change in oral chemistry creates a favourable condition for an oral fugal infection. Thrush can be identified by other symptoms, including white, cream-coloured or yellow painless spots in the mouth that are slightly raised and may bleed if scraped, according to NetDoctor.co.uk.
Toothpaste or Mouthwash Allergy
In some cases, a chemical allergy may be the cause of swollen, red gums. This allergy could be to items commonly put in the mouth, such as toothpaste or mouthwash. An allergy is the body's immune system reacting to a chemical. If changing types of toothpaste or stopping mouthwash usage does not clear this up immediately, this is probably not the cause.
Leukaemia is a potentially deadly cancer of the white blood cells that often affects children. One of the side effects of the disease is swollen gums, although the disease has no early detection symptoms that are easily visible, according to WrongDiagnosis.com. Other symptoms of leukaemia include fever, chills, flu-like symptoms, anaemia, easily bleeding (including nosebleeds and gum bleeding) and bruising, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and weight loss.
Malnutrition accompanied by swelling in the gums may affect children who have severe protein deficiency such as in the case of kwashiorkor. This condition can also accompany weight loss, stunted growth, delayed puberty and immunity impairment. Malnutrition problems may be treated with oral hydration, intravenous fluids and nutritional support.
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