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ORAL MEDICINE : Oral Health and Down Syndrome


This study consists of a clinical and literature review of the special dental considerations unique to individuals with Down syndrome.

The author is both a dentist and a parent of a child with Down syndrome.

Physical and orofacial characteristics of Down syndrome are discussed including the teeth, gingiva, tongue, palate, and occlusion.

Incidences of dental decay and periodontal disease are discussed and how best to treat these diseases in persons with Down syndrome.

Most if not all persons with Down syndrome have some type of occlusal disharmony. Techniques to help prevent occlusal problems are discussed, including orthodontic therapy.

Medical problems associated with Down syndrome that can affect dental treatment are discussed.

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Also, social and emotional factors involved in dental treatment are covered, including techniques to help children with Down syndrome become co-operative dental patients.

Information on how to choose the right dentist for your child and how to communicate effectively with the dental staff is given.

Finally, information on proper home care and prevention of dental disease is covered, including information on the most recent dental products.

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By Elizabeth Pilcher