Dental disease

Gingivitis, periodontal disease, orthodontic problems, and bruxism (tooth grinding) are more common in individuals with Down syndrome than the general population, and often cause tooth loss. However, dental caries are less common. With the impaired immunity and valvular disorders common in people with Down syndrome, periodontal disease is a special health risk.

Nurses can play an important role by identifying and reporting early signs of periodontal disease, and encouraging good dental hygiene and regular check-ups. Because many children with Down syndrome have motor impairments that can interfere with good oral hygiene, it’s important to check periodically to see that the youngster is using proper techniques for brushing and flossing.

Instant Feedback:
Because dental caries are not a major problem for people with Down syndrome, the nurse doesn’t need to focus on oral hygiene.