Down Syndrome and Dentistry: Does Your Child Need Extra Attention?

Dentist Blog

As the parent of a child with Down syndrome, you will undoubtedly seek out specific forms of care and assistance (such as education and healthcare) that acknowledge your child's condition, while still allowing them to thrive. But what about dental care? Down syndrome can result in a particular set of challenges when it comes to developing and maintaining healthy teeth.

A Different Schedule

There's an average age for the eruption of a child's first set of teeth. These are the deciduous (or baby) teeth, which will eventually be pushed out by the emergence of the underlying permanent adult teeth. Children with Down syndrome will often deviate from this average age, with their teeth emerging later. In some instances, the tooth can be entirely absent, whether it's a deciduous or permanent tooth. Certainly, this can be a concern, but before you speculate too much, make an appointment with your child's dentist. An x-ray can determine whether the tooth is waiting to emerge, or whether it's absent altogether.

A Shorter Root Structure 

Children with Down syndrome are also more susceptible to the loss of a tooth that has already emerged. Their teeth can have a shorter root structure (in addition to their teeth often being smaller than the general population), meaning that when a tooth becomes severely decayed, its comparatively shorter root structure can result in the tooth losing stability. 

Distribution of Force

Teeth that have been lost, or never emerged at all can pose significant problems for your child's overall oral health. Human teeth are configured to achieve a fairly uniform distribution of force. This means when it comes to exerting the necessary force for biting and chewing, all teeth will more-or-less do their fair share. When teeth are missing, their neighbours must pick up the slack, leading to these teeth potentially wearing down at an accelerated rate.

Replacing Missing Teeth

Tooth replacement is certainly an option. This could be in the form of a dental implant or even dentures. These dentures could be removable or fixed in position using a dental bridge. Of course, you can discuss your options with your dentist, but it's important that a suitable solution is found if your child has lost a tooth, or had a reduced number of teeth in the first place.

A bright and healthy smile is a realistic goal for anyone, although when someone has Down syndrome, they might need some extra, specialised assistance to reach that goal.


9 July 2019

Fillings: Everything You Need to Know

Hi! Welcome to my blog! My name is Kerry, and this blog is focused on dental fillings. It looks at the history of fillings, options for contemporary fillings, how to protect your fillings, when to replace them and much more. If you have ever had a cavity filled or if you are planning to get a tooth filled, you will find the information in this blog useful. I try to look at fillings from all angles, and I even plan to look at how to avoid fillings through proper dental hygiene and sealants. Thanks for reading, and I hope you find the info intellectually "filling."