Tariq Drabu, a leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon, has advised that special dental care must be taken with patients with disabilities to ensure that they enjoy good oral health moving forward. Tariq Drabu is the owner of the successful Langley Dental Practice where he and his experienced team cater to NHS and private patients.
Tariq Drabu did mention that special emphasis must be placed on patients with disabilities, as they are prone to poor oral health due to numerous factors. Some of the things that should be checked for include:
Patients with disabilities are more prone to gum disease. Gingivitis which is a mild to moderate form of gum disease is often not noticed or overlooked and in time this can become a severe gum disease, called periodontal disease.
This form of gum disease involves the structures of the tooth being affected and in addition to unwelcome sensitivity, it could result in tooth loss. Bleeding gums, inflamed gums and sensitivity must be checked by a dental professional as soon as possible.
Another common condition found in patients with disabilities is that they are more likely to grind their teeth, called bruxism. Tooth grinding also leads to numerous problems from aching jaw to wearing down of the back teeth. Often patients who grind their teeth literally wear their teeth away, often to a point of not being able to preserve the natural tooth.
Tariq Drabu mentioned there are treatments for this condition, including wearing a mouth guard made specifically for the patient when they sleep, this way the teeth are protected against the constant grinding movement.
Patients with physical disabilities are also more prone to falls and bangs, which can cause trauma to the teeth and gums. Broken, chipped and cracked teeth are very common in these patients. Depending on the severity of the damage, the tooth may be able to be preserved. Ensure the patient receives immediate dental care if the event of trauma.
Tariq Drabu did mention that he recommends patients with any disability attend regular routine dental appointments, at least every six months, so that their mouth, teeth and gums can be checked to ensure that they are enjoying good oral health and also put a treatment plan in place as soon as possible in the event there is any evidence of dental disease or trauma.