Down syndrome can lead to a variety of developmental disturbances, including microdontia. Microdontia is a dental condition characterized by teeth that are smaller than they should be. Here are four things parents need to know about Down syndrome and microdontia.
What are the signs of microdontia?
If your child has microdontia, you'll notice that at least one of their teeth is smaller than normal. The crowns (visible white portions) of these affected teeth are often shorter or narrower than they should be, and they may even be pointed. While some teeth—like the incisors—are supposed to be pointed, the others should have fairly flat chewing surfaces. If you notice that any of your child's teeth are unusually short, small or pointed, take them to a dentist right away.
Is microdontia serious?
Microdontia can lead to malocclusion, meaning that the teeth of the upper and lower jaws don't fit together properly during biting or chewing. This misalignment can put a strain on your child's jaw or facial muscles, leading to discomfort or pain. It also puts a strain on your child's teeth, which can lead to broken teeth. Fortunately, these problems can be avoided by treating the microdontia.
How common is microdontia?
Microdontia is a very common condition among people with Down syndrome. Between 33% and 55% of Down syndrome patients have been reported to experience this condition in both their baby and adult teeth. Since it's such a common condition, make sure to pay attention to the size of your child's teeth as they erupt.
How is microdontia treated?
Microdontia is treated with cosmetic dentistry. There's nothing structurally wrong with the affected teeth, aside from their too-small size, so there's no reason to have them extracted. Instead, your child's dentist will use restorations like crowns to build up their teeth to the appropriate size and shape.
Crowns are caps that are placed on top of your child's small teeth to restore their appearance and re-align their bite. Crowns are custom-made to fit the teeth, so first, your child's dentist will take an impression of their teeth. This is unpleasant for children with Down syndrome due to their strong gag reflexes, but it's a necessary step. Once the impression has been created, a laboratory will create custom-fitted crowns for the small teeth.
Once the crowns have been created, your dentist will cement them on top of your child's small teeth. These crowns can last for about ten years with proper care. For more information, speak to a specialist in pediatric dentistry.
2 March 2016
I have always brushed and flossed my teeth daily, but I still had the occasional cavity when I visited the dentist for a check-up. He told me it was normal to have a cavity on occasion and that I shouldn't let it stress me out too much. Well, I am not one to just accept any problem I am having, so I started looking into how to improve my oral hygiene even more. I had always thought mouthwash was just to improve your breath, but I found some that said they helped keep cavities away. I started using one every day before bed. I haven't had a cavity in two years now, and I think the mouth rinse is the reason! I created this blog to remind other people that even if they brush and floss regularly, they can always find ways to take even better care of their teeth.