Cerebral Palsy Dentist

Oral Health And Cerebral Palsy

There are many symptoms of cerebral palsy that can put patients at greater risk of dental issues, even though cerebral palsy itself is not the cause of oral abnormalities or deformities. However, if a patient with cerebral palsy is diligent about getting their dental checkups, maintaining positive oral health is 100% possible.

Here at the Dental Anesthesia Center in St. Louis, we specialize in special needs dentistry, helping out patients of all kinds in achieving the best possible oral health.

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The Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologist in Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area.

Call (314) 862-7844

Why Are Patients With Cerebral Palsy At Greater Risk For Oral Health Problems?

There are many cerebral palsy patients who tend to have gastrointestinal reflux, which can lead them to vomit or reflux on a regular basis. Some patients tend to have more problems with drooling, which can also increase the risk of dental issues. In other cases, the medication that is taken by cerebral palsy patients contains high sugar percentages, which can be bad for oral health.

When you think about all of these factors combined, people that have cerebral palsy are much of the time at greater risk for oral health problems such as tooth decay. Of course, there are many other issues that cerebral palsy patients tend to have as well, including:

  • Lack of control when brushing or flossing teeth
  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing
  • Excessive gagging
  • Misaligned upper and lower teeth
  • Lip, tongue, and cheek biting
  • Gingivitis, which is typically a side effect of seizure medications

Many patients with cerebral palsy, especially young children, have trouble cleaning their teeth on their own. This is due to an inability to get their jaw muscles to relax. Obstacles to brushing can include mouth and tongue sensitivity in addition to lack of control.

Dental Treatment For Patients With Cerebral Palsy

Patients with cerebral palsy in St. Louis may be more hesitant about visiting the dentist for the fear that the visit might go poorly. This is especially true with parents who have young children with cerebral palsy. Luckily, we have Dr. Hoffman and Dr. Thoms on our team, each of whom specializes in working with a wide variety of patients, including those with cerebral palsy.

Our office is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. We can accommodate patients with wheelchairs of all sizes.

Our dentists and team have been trained to properly monitor breathing as well, which is a must for children or adults who may have difficulty communicating or expressing when they are feeling pain or discomfort. Our dentists understand how to establish relationships with all of our patients, give understandable yet friendly commands, and communicate effectively in a non-verbal manner if necessary.

At-Home Oral Care

Beyond coming in for regular checkups or urgent procedures, it is very important that you have an oral routine at home for you or your loved one. Patients with cerebral palsy should have these things for a successful at-home oral care routine:

  • Toothbrushes or floss that is easy to use (we recommend electric toothbrushes or toothpick floss sticks if possible)
  • Toothpaste meant for sensitive gums and teeth

Making Your First Appointment

Did you know that children with cerebral palsy are far less likely to receive proper oral care when compared to other children with Special Needs? In a recent study, 40% of children without disabilities have regular dental visits while only 23% of children with cerebral palsy have dental visits at all.

It is important not to neglect you or your child’s oral health due to the fear of a dental visit not going well. Our goal is to make all dental visits customized and comfortable for every type of patient. That is why we are highly regarded as the best special needs sleep and sedation dentist in St. Louis.

We hope that you give us a call at (314) 862-7844 to schedule your first appointment. There is a reason why we are known for having the best cerebral palsy dentistry in St. Louis. We look forward to meeting and working with you!

Call Us Today

The Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologist in Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area.

Call (314) 862-7844