Briefly describe each of the ten oral conditions
frequently found in patients with special needs, including intellectual disability (see link below).
What is one implication of poor oral health for
persons with intellectual disability?
What is the perception many dental professionals
have concerning the behavior of persons with intellectual disability? What
can be done?
Conditions of Intellectually Disabled
Since intellectual disability is associated with disturbances in early
development, abnormalities in the teeth and oral cavity are frequently
found. For example, anomalies of the enamel and dentin often are seen
in children affected by maternal rubella.
Tooth eruption may be delayed
dramatically, and occur in a bizarre sequence. Microdontia, cone-shaped
teeth, and other abnormalities of tooth morphology also are common, and
occur at a very early age.
Persons with intellectual disability
are more prone to dental caries, malocclusion, tongue thrusting,
clenching, bruxism, drooling, self-injurious behavior, and pica (a
craving for unnatural articles of food). Institutionalization and oral
hygiene status have been identified as significant variables affecting
the oral health of individuals with intellectual disability
(The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Web site [http://www.nidcr.nih.gov] provides accurate, up-to-date information
about oral health, clinical trials, patient resources, research advances, and
funding and training opportunities for researchers and health professionals.)
Click on the link below to read
the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
(NIDCR) document, Oral Conditions in Children with Special Needs: A
Guide for Health Care
Providers. You will find brief descriptions and
photos of conditions associated with ...
Oral Development: including tooth eruption,
malocclusion, tooth anomalies and developmental defects
Oral Infections: including
dental caries, viral infections and early, severe periodontal disease
… in addition to a box of
Health Care Providers.
In fact, a broad range of materials
is available from:
Health Information Clearinghouse
Bethesda, MD 20892-3500
What are the implications of intellectual disability for the patient and dental
Patients with intellectual disability may struggle for social acceptance, and poor oral health
may constitute an additional and unnecessary
barrier. In addition, persons with intellectual disability often
are perceived by dental professionals as having “management problems.”
Fortunately, most difficulties with behavior, communication, home care,
and other problems can be minimized by good preparation, clear
communication, and a treatment plan that takes into consideration the
patient’s disabilities, needs, and potential.
Our modules continue with
reviews of the following medical conditions and