Position paper: periodontal diseases of children and adolescents

J Periodontol. 2003 Nov;74(11):1696-704. doi: 10.1902/jop.2003.74.11.1696.


Children and adolescents are subject to several periodontal diseases. Although there is a much lower prevalence of destructive periodontal diseases in children than in adults, children can develop severe forms of periodontitis. In some cases, this destructive disease is a manifestation of a known underlying systemic disease. In other young patients, the underlying cause for increased susceptibility and early onset of disease is unknown. These diseases are often familial, suggesting a genetic predisposition for aggressive disease. Current modalities for managing periodontal diseases of children and adolescents may include antibiotic therapy in combination with non-surgical and/or surgical therapy. Since early diagnosis ensures the greatest chance for successful treatment, it is important that children receive a periodontal examination as part of their routine dental visits.

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aggressive Periodontitis / classification
  • Aggressive Periodontitis / etiology
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dental Plaque / complications
  • Gingival Diseases / etiology
  • Gingivitis, Necrotizing Ulcerative / classification
  • Gingivitis, Necrotizing Ulcerative / etiology
  • Humans
  • Necrosis
  • Periodontal Diseases / classification*
  • Periodontal Diseases / etiology
  • Periodontitis / classification
  • Periodontitis / etiology