Ejldental

Ejldental

Ejldental

Ejldental

Ejldental
Ejldental
EJL
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EJL Dental

Oral Health Month: Exploring The Importance Of Good Dental Health In Persons With Special Needs

Staff | June 2021

June is National Oral Health Month! Oral Health Month reminds us of the importance of excellent oral health and how it can affect overall health. While this observance is usually used to focus on maintaining and improving oral health practices for the general population, this year we’d like to focus on why oral health is especially important for persons who may be more susceptible to oral health issues, like persons with special needs. 

Patients with special needs are often at higher risk of having common oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Depending on their individual needs, they may have impairments to their cognitive abilities or mobility, behavioral problems, neuromuscular problems that result in drooling, gagging, and/or issues with swallowing, uncontrolled body movements, acid reflux, or seizures. Some genetic disorders can also impact oral health because they can lead to missing teeth, problems with alignment, or defects in the enamel of the teeth.

Individuals with special needs may require additional physical and emotional support such as paying extra attention and giving more support to their oral needs. One common oral health issue to look out for is malocclusion, commonly referred to as a “bad bite”, where the teeth are not aligned properly or are simply “crowded”. Teeth that do not align properly can make chewing and speaking difficult and can limit the ability to benefit from the natural cleaning action of the tongue, cheeks, and lip muscles. Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, is another condition that occurs when acid producing bacteria break down the tooth’s enamel. Along with ineffective oral hygiene, some medications can be contributing factors to dental caries. If you or your dependent experience painful chewing, gums that bleed easily, or notice blood when brushing or flossing, it could be due to gingivitis or periodontitis. Periodontitis is a gum disease that can diminish the bone supporting your teeth, which could lead to tooth loss. There are many oral health issues that could arise due to physical conditions, but at EJL Dental we aim to decrease the likelihood of serious oral issues by providing preventive and therapeutic dental care for our patients with special health care needs.

It is important for persons with special needs to take extra care when it comes to their teeth. Some tips to remember are:

  • Have a reliable support system; persons with special needs all have varying levels of dependence, some can lead full and independent lives while some require more support. Some conditions may affect a person’s ability to effectively care for their teeth which is why it’s important for them to be able to rely on their support system, when necessary, to ensure their teeth are properly taken care of. 
  • Choose the right oral health supplies; There are many oral health supplies that are modified to make brushing teeth easier. Choosing the right ones can help to provide a sense of independence to persons with special needs without sacrificing oral health.  Please don’t hesitate to ask if we can help choose the right supplies for you!
  • Choose dental professionals with experience working with persons with special needs; At EJL Dental our practice has decades of experience working with persons with special needs and we ensure that adequate care and comfort is provided.

EJL Dental values the unique qualities of each smile we treat. We keep in mind our patient’s needs regardless of any physical, medical, developmental, or cognitive condition. Our dentists, technicians, and hygienists have the experience necessary to provide comprehensive and compassionate dental care while keeping in mind the needs of our patients. It is our priority to create a safe dental environment and provide excellent care for all family members regardless of their age or disability. As we celebrate National Oral Health Month, we encourage you to trust our team with your or your loved one’s dental care needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Our family looks forward to seeing your family!

EJL Dental

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