People with developmental disabilities face increased risk of oral health problems

Sept. 11, 2012
Free clinic in Chicago offers dental care for special needs patients

People with developmental disabilities face increased oral health problems because of a host of physical, cognitive and financial challenges, according to a recent study in the Journal of the American Dental Association.

Their dental problems can lead to pain, trouble eating, and infection, eventually causing serious long-term medical issues, according to the researchers at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and School of Medicine in Massachusetts. Additionally, there's a scarcity of dentists trained to handle people with special needs.

Researchers used an electronic database of 4,732 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities seen at Tufts Dental Facilities Serving Persons with Special Needs, a state-supported system of dental clinics for this population.

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