Spina Bifida and your oral health
How can Spina Bifida affect your dental treatment?
There aren’t so many unusual dental problems with Spina Bifida patients although if your arms and your chest become paralyzed, you will have trouble brushing and flossing. You could use several adaptive dental aids and techniques to maintain excellent teeth. Moreover, you could get a caregiver to assist you in taking care of your teeth. Sometimes, people with Spina Bfida take medications that cause oral side effects like gum overgrowth.
You should keep your dental appointments to a comfortable length of time. If you take too long in a dental chair then you may get too stressed. In order to avoid pressure sores and pain, your dentist may add some padding in the dental chair. Your dentist may also change your position form time to time. There may be an assistant in the dental office that will assist you in getting in and out of the chair and with all the other dental procedures as well. If you can not get out of you wheelchair then your dentist could treat you right in your wheelchair.
Holding your mouth open for a long period of time and controlling your tongue from moving can be really hard for a person afflicted with this disorder. Your dentist will use special devices for this. A rubber bite block or a mouth prop could be used to keep your mouth open for the duration of the treatment. This appliance is also great in reducing the stress on your muscles. A tongue retractor can be used so that your tongue is kept in one place. Your dentist may use a thin piece of rubber or a rubber dam that will be stretched over your teeth. This will prevent any foreign substances from entering your mouth.
Infants who have Spina Bifida are at a high risk of getting latex allergy so make sure that you inform your dentist about any allergies. Children should not be exposed to latex products.
Those with surgically placed tubes or shunts must receive premedication with antibiotics before they go through any dental treatment. Your physician and your dentist must discuss issues with your shunts prior to any treatment. It would be great if you bring the paperwork that explains your shunt on your dental visits. Inform your dentist about any medications you are taking and their corresponding dosages.