Tufts OpenCourseware
Search
Authors: John Morgan, Bonnie F. Zimble

Down Syndrome:

Summary

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


Table: Down Syndrome

DEFINITIONS AND SYMPTOMS

MAJOR ORAL CONDITIONS WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT BE PRESENT
 

PREVENTION AND TREATMENT

MEDICATIONS

A chromosome abnormality resulting in growth deficiency and intellectual disability

Approximately 33% of babies born with Down Syndrome have congenital heart defects 

Increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

High vaulted palate 

Large, fissured and or scalloped protruding tongue 

Mouth breathing

Shorter crowns and roots

Enamel hypoplasia

Congenitally missing teeth

Reduced risk of dental caries

Increased risk of periodontal disease

Malocclusion

Bruxism

Marked gag reflex

Angular cheilitis

Xerostomia

 

Strict daily oral hygiene regimen starting at an early age 

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

Frequent exams and prophylaxis to avoid and or maintain periodontal health

Tell, show, do when teaching oral hygiene

Use of mechanical toothbrushes  

Use of oral antimicrobial agents 

Fluoride therapy  

Sealant application 

Nutrition counseling

Due to high percentage of cardiovascular conditions, patients should be screened for SBE pre-medication 

Sucrose based medications may increase susceptibility to dental caries