What is puberty gingivitis?

Puberty gingivitis is a preventable variety of gingivitis that can develop in children during puberty. Here, our Clarenville dentists explain what causes it, and how to prevent it.

Puberty gingivitis is a very common but not very well-known condition in preteens and teenagers. As with any form of gingivitis, it may progress to more serious periodontal disease if it is not identified and treated early on.

What causes puberty gingivitis?

Puberty gingivitis is most common in preadolescent children between the ages of 11 and 13. 

Throughout these years, kids will often begin to assert their independence and because of this, their dietary ad oral hygiene habits may be negatively impacted because of a reduction in parental supervision. 

Puberty gingivitis is generally caused by a combination of poor oral hygiene habits and diet, in addition to elevated hormone levels throughout puberty (which may increase the sensitivity of gums to the accumulation of dental plaque. Poor nutrition can make it difficult for the body to fight off infection and may put children at a higher risk of developing gum disease.

Teens who smoke, vape, or chew tobacco tend to be more likely to contract gum disease than non-smoking peers. 

Being under continuous stress weakens the immune system and increases inflammation. High-stress levels, combined with poor oral health and hygiene, can cause gum disease to develop over time. 

This combination of factors makes gingivitis more of a risk for young people going through puberty than it would be at other times in their lives.


Puberty gingivitis symptoms may include bleeding and inflammation of the gums. The gum tissue here may also become swollen, red and much less firm to the touch. Bad breath can also be a symptom. 


The best "treatment" for puberty gingivitis is prevention!

As your children grow older and become more independent, they may be less inclined to listen to their parents' advice about maintaining their oral health. Because of this, parents should remain firm on this point in order to prevent gum disease from developing in their child.

Make sure that your pre-teen brushes thoroughly for two minutes at a time both in the morning and before bed and losses carefully at least once each day. 

If your child has already developed gingivitis, periodontal therapy at your dentist’s office may help to get it under control. Mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine can be used to control the infection as well. Our Clarenville dentists will also advise your teen on the correct brushing and flossing techniques for long-term dental health.

If you have questions about your child’s gum health, we can help! Get in touch with our Clarenville dentists today for more information!

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