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Authors: John Morgan, Bonnie F. Zimble
Cerebral Palsy:

Summary

Special Care in Dentistry
John Morgan, DDS
Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, 2008


Table:
Cerebral Palsy

DEFINITIONS AND SYMPTOMS

MAJOR ORAL CONDITIONS WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT BE PRESENT
 

PREVENTION AND TREATMENT

MEDICATIONS

Non-progressive disorder caused by brain damage

Characterized by motor dysfunction 

Patient may also experience: 

  • Learning disabilities

  • Psychological problems

  • Sensory deficits

  • Seizure disorders

 

 

Greater prevalence of gingival and periodontal disease due to lack of control of oral muscles and inability to perform daily oral hygiene regimen

Malocclusion

Grinding/attrition

Drooling

Enamel hypoplasia of primary teeth

Hyperactive gag reflex

 

Strict daily oral hygiene regimen starting at an early age 

Toothbrushing skills should be adapted to the individual’s abilities and strengths 

Routine exams and prophylaxis 

Modification of toothbrush handles

Use of mechanical toothbrushes 

Use of oral antimicrobial agents 

Fluoride therapy 

Sealant application 

Nutrition counseling 

Possible candidate for drooling device

Seizure medication such as phenytoin (Dilantin) may cause gingival hyperplasia 

Anticholinergic drugs used to control drooling may cause increased susceptibility to dental caries

Sucrose based medications may cause increased susceptibility to dental caries due to the patient inability to self cleanse 

Psychotropic drugs should be monitored for xerostomia which may increase susceptibility to dental caries