The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes that although the prevalence of destructive forms of periodontal disease is low among children and adolescents, this population can develop several forms of periodontal diseases and conditions most frequently associated with an underlying systemic or immunologic disorder.
In addition, current and early studies show that gingivitis occurs in half of the population by age of four or five years and peaks nearly to 100 percent at puberty.
The prevalence of gingivitis can be similar to or greater than dental caries during childhood.
Nevertheless, when compared to dental caries, gingivitis in children has received much less attention in understanding the long-term impact that chronic inflammation of the periodontal tissues in childhood may have on overall health of the periodontium throughout life.
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Therefore, it is critical that pediatric dental patients receive a periodontal assessment as part of their routine dental visits.
Early diagnosis ensures the greatest opportunity for successful treatment, primarily by reducing etiological factors, establishing appropriate therapeutic measures, and developing an effective periodic maintenance protocol.
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