Children and adults with cerebral palsy are at an increased risk of oral health problems. While cerebral palsy does not involve any defects of the mouth, teeth or gums, other problems such as acid reflux and vomiting can lead to damage of the teeth and soft tissues in the mouth. Understanding how cerebral palsy affects oral health can help you plan for your loved one's current and future oral health care needs.
Oral Health Risks Associated With Cerebral Palsy
Children, teens and young adults with cerebral palsy typically have weak jaw muscles. The muscles may be tight, which makes it hard to brush the teeth. Swallowing disorders are common in people with cerebral palsy, which could lead to food sitting in the mouth for an extended period of time. This promotes tooth decay. Other aspects of cerebral palsy that increase the risk of tooth decay, gingivitis and other oral health problems include:
Caring for Oral Health at Home
A person with cerebral palsy may have a difficult time holding a toothbrush and cleaning all of the surfaces of each tooth. Drool, sensitivity and a fast gag reflex may also impede good brushing. Maneuvering dental floss could be difficult for a person with cerebral palsy. Parents or caregivers may have to handle the person's oral hygiene needs in order to ensure that all of the teeth are cleaned every day.
Dental Treatments for People With Cerebral Palsy
The increased risk of cavities and gingivitis in people with cerebral palsy may require additional dental treatments beyond what is usually done for a child, teenager or young adult. It is a good idea to locate a dentist who is experienced in providing care to people with special healthcare needs. Fluoride treatments and dental sealants may be recommended in order to lessen the risk of tooth decay. A prescription toothpaste may also be recommended. Working with a speech therapist for assistance with swallowing disorders could also help with the oral health care needs of a person with cerebral palsy.
Extra Dental Costs for Oral Health Care
People with cerebral palsy may have higher oral health care costs than people without the disorder. They may need more frequent dental cleanings because of the higher risk of tooth decay. Most insurance companies only cover dental cleanings twice per year, so extra cleanings would be out of your pocket. In 2018, a dental cleaning costs $75 to $200. Cerebral palsy may also lead to misalignment of the teeth, necessitating orthodontic care. The costs of orthodontic care range from $3,000 to more than $10,000 in 2018, and that does not include any extractions or implants. Overall, the lifetime cost of oral health care for someone with cerebral palsy will be higher than the costs for people without the condition.
Oral hygiene is important for everyone for maintaining good dental health, but for someone living with
cancer, like mesothelioma, that hygiene becomes even more important. Mesothelioma is a devastating
cancer of the tissue lining the lungs and is caused by exposure to asbestos. Dental complications are
common in these patients, which can cause added discomfort and pain. Practicing good oral hygiene can
help patients prevent these uncomfortable complications.
What Cancer and its Treatment Does to Dental Health
Cancer can impact the mouth and dental health , but it is treatment for cancers like mesothelioma that
really have a detrimental impact. Chemotherapy, for instance, can cause mouth pain, dry mouth that
can lead to infections, blooding in the gums, difficulty eating, and a condition called oral mucositis,
inflamed and painful sores in the mouth. Radiation therapy may also cause dental complications,
including many of the same caused by chemotherapy, but also by increasing the risk of cavities and
See the Dentist Before Treatment
If you are facing chemotherapy or any other treatment for mesothelioma, it is important to see your
dentist in advance. A dentist can check for any existing problems and treat you before beginning
treatment so the issues don’t get worse. You will also get good advice on how to care for your teeth and
mouth as you go through treatment. Going into chemotherapy or radiation in good dental health sets
you up for a better outcome and a lower risk for complications.
Oral Hygiene During and After Treatment
Even if you have excellent oral health before starting mesothelioma treatments, you still need to
practice good oral hygiene to maintain that good health. Here are some things you can do to keep your
mouth healthy and happy:
Oral hygiene is always important, but as a mesothelioma patient going through chemotherapy your
dental health may be compromised, and good hygiene practices suddenly become so much more important.
Don’t let dental health slide. Talk to your doctors and your dentist about oral health before, during, and after treatment so you get the best care.
Oral cancer refers to cancer that either appears in the oral cavity, including the lips, tongue, gingiva, palate, floor of mouth (below tongue), inside of cheek, or in the throat. In the United States, oral cancer comprises 2.9% of total cancers, killing 9,750 people per year. It is important to know and understand some of the signs and symptoms associated with oral cancer, and it is even more important to maintain regular dental check-ups when cancer screening exams are routinely performed. The five-year survival rate for diagnosed cases is 60%, but the chance of survival and successful treatment is much higher if the disease is detected early on. If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms, you should contact your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible:
Your mouth is the gateway to your overall health, so keeping your gums healthy is essential. All it takes is one minute a day for a cleaner, fresher, and healthier mouth. And it's perfect for anyone with braces, implants, crowns, or periodontal pockets. It is perfect for everyone.
A waterpik is an oral irrigator. Like a miniature pressure washer, it directs a forceful stream of water through a special tip and is directed around each tooth emitting a pulsating stream of water that massages and stimulates the gum tissues. The force of the water dislodges and washes away plaque, bits of food, and bacteria from the gums and teeth, cleaning deep between teeth and below the gum line.
Does it replace flossing? We don’t believe it does. The scraping action of flossing removes the sticky plaque bacteria on your teeth in a way that only physical pressure can accomplish. We recommend an oral cleansing regimen as follows:
Your oral health will be superior, providing decay prevention, gum health, fresh breath and a resultant improved overall health. All waterpiks have a reservoir to hold the water, and an electric motor to power the pump. Waterpiking with lukewarm water is a much more pleasant experience than with cold water, so remember to fill the tank accordingly. Waterpiks come as countertop, portable and shower units.
Our team here at Fashion Isle Smiles highly recommends the regular use of a waterpik in conjunction with brushing and flossing. For a special holiday gift, consider giving your loved ones the gift for a lifetime…a waterpik. Happy Holiday!
According to the American College of Prosthodontics (ACP), more than 36 million Americans do not have any teeth, and 120 million people are missing at least one tooth. Although the primary cause of tooth loss is from dental decay and periodontal disease, missing teeth can also be a result of trauma, illness, or abnormal development. The biggest impact for most people missing a tooth is the psychological and social aspect. One of the first things people notice during conversation is a person’s smile. Missing a tooth not only affects appearance, but it may also impair speech, as teeth play an important role in formation of sounds that produce words when we talk. The ACP has also shown that missing teeth can also contribute to nutritional changes, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer.
Our goal is to prevent tooth loss altogether, but sometimes it's inevitable. In this article, I will be explaining dental implants, and why they have become the standard of care for replacing missing teeth when compared to other treatment modalities, such as dentures and bridges.
A dental implant is a titanium device that looks similar to a screw, which is surgically placed into the jaw bone in the area of the missing tooth. Once the the bone heals around the implant through a process called osseointegration, about 3 to 6 months after implant placement, the permanent crown may then be screwed or cemented to the implant.
Advantages of implants:
Did you know that the tongue can be the primary cause for bad breath? Some of the causes for bad breath include diets high in sulfur compounds (garlic and onions), dry mouth, periodontal disease, or gastric problems. At first glance, your tongue may seem like a pretty benign, ordinary structure in your mouth. At the microscopic level, the tongue looks like a thick carpet, made up of millions of papilla where odor-causing bacteria and food particles reside. Over time, the buildup that manifests gives the tongue a white or yellowish brown coated appearance. In more severe cases the actual diagnosis given is “hairy tongue,” when the tongue appears to have hairlike structures growing on the top surface. Now that we have discussed what can grow on your tongue, it’s easy to understand this problem can make your breath smell like something died inside your mouth! However, do not fear. For the most part, this problem is easily preventable. All it takes is 30 to 60 seconds of thorough brushing with toothpaste followed by a good rinse with water every day. Using a tongue scraper is also advised to help remove the debris once it has been loosened with the toothbrush. For severe cases, an antimicrobial rinse may be recommended.
The crowns of your teeth are made up of three layers: enamel, dentin, and pulp. Enamel is the outer layer, which is also the also the hardest substance in your body. The dentin is the next layer, which is softer than enamel, containing the nerve endings and dentinal tubules extending from the pulp chamber. The pulp is the inner core of the tooth, where the nerves and blood vessels are located. Maintaining the integrity of the enamel is very important for preservation of the teeth as a whole. Parafunctional habits such as nighttime bruxism (grinding/clenching), nail biting, ice chewing, or anything else that doesn’t involve eating food, talking, and smiling, will wear the enamel away, making the tooth susceptible to fracture and decay. One of the most common and more destructive habits we find is the nighttime grinding. In severe cases, as much as half of the tooth structure is completely gone! Remember, it’s not normal for the teeth to wear down, even with old age. The key to fixing these problems is preventing them altogether. Having a night guard made and wearing it daily will equate to a large return on investment. Learn more about night guards here.
It's that time again when everyone is making their new year’s resolutions in an attempt to make changes in their lives. One of the primary objectives of my dental practice is to educate my patients about the importance of prevention. In doing so, I stress the impact of daily flossing, brushing, reducing sugar intake, and maintaining a regular dental check-up schedule. With every person, my hope is that I can influence their mindset, not only about their teeth, but their overall health and lifestyle. After all, when it comes to your health, the changes you make now will impact the rest of your life. Whatever resolutions you have made for this year, whether they are dental-related or not, use the well-known acronym “SMART” to help you achieve your goals. Effective goals are:
S- Specific: Be very clear about what it is you want to accomplish.
M- Measurable: Determine how you can track your progress by keeping score and making yourself more accountable.
A- Achievable: Sometimes it’s better to start small and take baby steps towards perfection. Be honest and realistic.
R- Relevant: Do something that hits close to home, and will hopefully inspire changes that are life-changing.
T- Time-bound: Make sure you give yourself enough time to accomplish your goals.
Have a happy and healthy 2018, everyone!
The general definition of sugar is a simple carbohydrate, which encompasses glucose, sucrose, fructose and lactose, to name a few. When the majority of people use the term sugar, most often they are referring to sucrose or table sugar. Studies have shown that frequent consumption of sucrose increases the risk for developing tooth decay. People often question the effects other forms of sugar, such as honey or fructose found in fruits. The sugar found in these foods is predominantly fructose and while this is still fermentable by bacteria, it is a non-processed carbohydrate and is therefore less susceptible to bacterial digestion. Sucrose, however, is byproduct chemical that is easily digested by the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Furthermore, most of the foods that contain large amounts of sucrose are generally sticky, and easily get stuck on and between the teeth, providing plenty of food for the oral bacteria to grow and wreak havoc. The obvious sources of sucrose are candy and soda, but sucrose can be found in almost any food that has undergone processing, which is why it is so important to pay attention to food labels and ingredient lists when grocery shopping. Of course, the easiest way to avoid food loaded with sucrose is to choose whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and unprocessed grains and legumes. For more questions about avoiding sucrose, ask our registered dietitian, Nasira: firstname.lastname@example.org.