Periodontal tissues in children
The gingiva in children may appear red and inflamed. Compared with mature tissue there is a thinner epithelium that is less keratinised, greater vascularity of connective tissues and less variation in the width of the attached gingiva. During tooth eruption, the gingival sulcus depths may reach 5 mm and gingival margins will be at different levels on adjacent teeth. Following tooth eruption a persistent hyperaemia can lead to swollen and rounded interproximal papillae, thus giving an appearance of gingivitis.
In the primary dentition, the radiographic distance between the cementoenamel junction (CEJ) and the alveolar crest is 0-2 mm. Greater variation (0–4 mm) is observed at sites adjacent to erupting permanent teeth and exfoliating primary teeth. The periodontal membrane space is wider in children because of the thinner cementum, immature alveolar bone and a more vascular periodontal ligament.