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

Sensory Impairment:

Summary

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


Summary of Sensory Impairment
 

DEFINITIONS AND SYMPTOMS

MAJOR ORAL CONDITIONS WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT BE PRESENT

PREVENTION AND TREATMENT

MEDICATIONS

Total or partial loss of sight and/or hearing 

Causes of sensory impairment are categorized according to time of onset which can be either congenital or acquired 

Causes may include: 

RH Incompatibility

Maternal diabetes

Prematurity

Rubella

Bruxism and tooth grinding during waking hours are common in the deaf-blind population. This habit appears frequently during periods of inactivity and may serve to fill the sensory void left by the disability

Increased prevalence of enamel dysplasia

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

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

Use of mechanical toothbrushes

Use of antimicrobial agents

Fluoride therapy

Sealant application

Nutrition counseling

Communicate using the method(s) that is familiar to the individual

Speak clearly and slowly and avoid background noise when communicating with an individual who has acquired hearing loss

If applicable, develop an oral desensitization program

 

Sucrose based medications may increase susceptibility to dental caries

 

Sources:

sense.org 

Kanar, H.L. “The Blind and the Deaf,” Dentistry for the Handicapped Patient, Nowak, A.J., ED., St. Louis: C.V. Mosby Co., 1976 

Wolf, J.M.; Anderson, R.M., The Multiply Handicapped Child, Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas,1969.