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Authors: John Morgan, Bonnie F. Zimble

Autism Spectrum Disorders:

Summary

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


Table: Autism Spectrum Disorders 


DEFINITIONS AND SYMPTOMS

MAJOR ORAL CONDITIONS WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT BE PRESENT



PREVENTION AND TREATMENT




MEDICATIONS

What is Autism?

Developmental disability that significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction

Generally evident before age 3 

Early Indicators

Engagement in repetitive activities

Resistance to change in daily routine

Unusual responses to sensory experiences

Delayed cognitive and social skills

Rigid or flaccid muscle tone when being held

Self-destructive behavior

 

No specific oral manifestations associated with autism

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

Use of mechanical toothbrushes

Use of antimicrobial agents

Fluoride therapy

Sealant application

Nutrition counseling

Positive reinforcement techniques

Development of an oral desensitization program

Behavior modification programs should be monitored for sugar based rewards

 

Sucrose based medications may increase susceptibility to dental caries