Dental Health in Patients with Disabilities – Part 1 of 2

Dentist And Dental Assistant Examining Patient Teeth.

Caring for dental health in patients with disabilities requires a lot of attention. The conditions of these people often prevent them from maintaining proper hygiene. In addition to this, all diseases and treatments require special attention compared to patients who don’t have any disabilities. In this two-part post, we offer a guide so you know everything related to this topic.

Effects of Disabilities on Oral Health

There are about 48 million people in the USA who have some type of disability. For them, dental care has special needs due to the condition or treatment they receive.

People with disabilities include those who have some type of deficiency during their development; either before, during or after birth. The deficiency may be physical or psychological conditions, but degenerative, neurological or psychiatric diseases are also included.

These diseases can prevent the patient from being responsible for their oral hygiene. The same condition can cause problems such as physical disability in the oral cavity, appearance of cavities, malocclusions, etc.

Concept Phobia Dentist, Dental Office. Young Girl At The Dentist

At home, those responsible for people with disabilities should be very attentive to their oral development. They have to make sure they have proper hygiene and take them regularly to a specialist.

Dental Health In Patients With Disabilities – Part 1 Of 2

Dental health in patients with disabilities

Generally, people with special abilities cannot take care of their oral health alone. That is why they require the help of other people during brushing. Medications and their own condition make them more likely to suffer from some disease. Even when they go to a dental office, they need special care. These may include some previous medication or even the physical restriction of the patient.

Being prone to oral diseases, it is necessary to promote dental health in patients with disabilities. However, it should be made clear that there is no such condition that is exclusive to special patients.

Frequent dental problems in patients with disabilities

People who have some type of disability are prone to have problems in their mouth. Among the most common diseases are:

  • Bruxism: It is the involuntary act of clenching or grinding your teeth. Many people have it without knowing, but the dentist can detect it if there is wear or fractures in the enamel. Some of the symptoms of bruxism are:
    • Headache or earache: clenching the jaw can cause severe headache.
    • Dental hypersensitivity: tooth enamel wear leaves dentin exposed. So, contact with chemical, thermal or tactile stimuli can cause acute pain.
    • Jaw pain: the pressure of the teeth can cause pain and inflammation of the maxillofacial muscles.
  • The cavities in patients with disabilities are frequent and cause periodontal diseases. This is due to the difficulty in eating, chewing and maintaining proper hygiene.
  • Dental trauma: It occurs due to the reduction of the patient’s reflexes, when they suffer epilepsy or have poor motor coordination; as well as in people with psychological disabilities. Early tooth loss is a common problem.
  • Bad alignment of teeth: Malocclusion and disorders of the temporo-mandibular joint are common in patients with neuromuscular imbalance.
  • Gingival hyperplasia and xerostomia: It may arise as a result of the consumption of certain medications.

What is Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing?

Converse Dentistry (converse, Tx) Plastic Teeth & Toothbrush

What is a Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing?

A scaling and root planing is typically needed to clean your teeth if you have gum disease. Gum disease is the number one cause for tooth loss in the world. It affects almost half of all adults over the age of 30. The scaling and root planing, which is sometimes referred to as a deeper cleaning, works to clean out the pockets of bacteria and buildup that have formed around the teeth as a result of gum disease.

Why is a Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing needed?

If you have gum disease, we may recommend that you have a scaling and root planing. Gum disease is defined as a separation from the soft tissue around the teeth. This causes pockets to form, which can be nearly impossible for you to clean on your own. The scaling and root planing is helpful in cleaning out these pockets to prevent further progression of the disease.

What Is A Periodontal Scaling And Root Planing