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Child with red and puffy gums starts bleeding while brushing. Could it be gingivitis?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
Hello. My is son is 2 years old. Every night he gets his teeth brushes and flossed. Recently this past week he had a virus and when I took him to his doctor I saw he had red puffy gums. He is still eating and drinking normally but when I been brushing his teeth they are bleeding pretty well. He cries if I even get close to his guns to brush. I made an appointment with dentist but curious to if this is gingivitis? And can thus start that fast? No site in the mouth or anything? Am I not getting all the tarter out from under the gums? Should he have an antibiotic to help?
Posted Fri, 25 Jan 2013 in Dental Health
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 2 hours later
Thanks for posting your query .
Though gingivitis/ periodontal disease due to inadequate dental hygiene is the commonest cause for gum bleeding it doesn't seem to be the cause in your child.
The most probable cause appears to be a viral gingivitis as you have maintained good dental hygiene, there is sudden appearance of bleeding post ? Viral illness and there are no other associated symptoms like sick child or bleeding at any other site.
I appreciate your efforts as a vigilant parent and would also recommend a dental check up as soon as feasible .
However the efficacy of antibiotics is limited in treatment of viral infections . Most of them resolve themselves in a couple of weeks.If it persists beyond that a complete blood count and bleeding profile might be required to confirm the diagnosis and start further treatment .
In addition you can give him vitamin C supplements for faster recovery , maintain good hydration and avoid vigorous brushing .

Hope I have answered your query.
I'll be available for any follow up queries .
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child with red and puffy gums starts bleeding while brushing. Could it be gingivitis? 28 hours later
Thank you so much for your answer. I took him to the dentist she had stated the same thing you did. I bought him a soft finger brush so I do believe I was using the wrong tooth brush. He got his first cleaning and there was no bleeding this morning with brushing. We are working on cutting sugar completely out of his day as well. Thank you again. I was very worried since I have a history of periodontal disease in my family so try extremely hard with my children to practice good hygiene. Thank you
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 4 minutes later
I really appreciate your efforts as a vigilant and health conscious parent .
Do keep up the good work.
Wishing your child good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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