Today we will be talking about PWS and dental care. Kemett see’s an oral surgeon every 6 months since he was 12 months old. We see Dr. Jacobs because Kemett has micrognathia (small jaw).
Kids with PWS need to have consistent dental care because:
Most dental problems with PWS are related to decrease salivary flow and mouth breathing. These two concerns combined promote tooth decay, periodontal disease and crowded arches. Persons with PWS also have a tendency towards dry mouth because of their mouth breathing which leads to thicker saliva, which promotes both decay and periodontal disease. Normal saliva is thin and washes the teeth clean, while thick saliva sticks to the teeth and harbors bacteria that cause tooth decay and periodontal disease. Finally, as a result of mouth breathing during their early years, individuals with PWS have a greater chance of developing narrow arches which causes crowded teeth. Getting orthodontic care early (age 6-9) to help develop the arches to a more normal shape can make it easier to keep the teeth clean, which helps prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease. It can also help reduce their tendency to mouth breathe, which would decrease tooth decay and periodontal disease. Professional dental cleanings every 3 to 6 months is also a big help in keeping the teeth and gums clean and healthy.
What can be done? First, make sure the child or adult has either a fluoridated water supply or fluoride tablets (1 mg /day to help fight tooth decay.) Have them brush with a fluoride toothpaste after each meal and then before bedtime. Parents will need to check their teeth after brushing, especially at night so that they don’t leave food along their gum lines. This leads to decay and periodontal disease.
So far, Kemett’s teeth have looked great. He does not have overly thick saliva and we brush and floss his teeth twice a day. He got all of his teeth in early and already has his 3 year molars. We have talked about sealants, but will not do anything about it until he is going under for another procedure. I would say he does not drink enough water though!
If you have any questions, please let us know! Thank you for your support!