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Autism and Special Patient Dentistry


Going to the dentist can be a cause for anxiety for most of us, but it’s a very different feeling for those with autism. Patients with autism often have difficulty staying still and allowing the dentist to do what’s needed, which is why a loved one should always be present. Everyone needs a hand to hold sometimes, especially those who fear the dentist, and it’s no different with patients with autism.


The Most Common Dental Problems Seen in Patients With Autism

Poor oral health is not always brought on or indicated through autistic patients, but proper oral health can be a problem in some cases. Some dental problems that are seen in autistic patients can be purely genetic, but oftentimes it’s not chalked up all that easily.

Autistic patients can be very uncooperative at both the dentist and at home in terms of oral hygiene, so the proper amount of care can be difficult. For example, periodontal disease and cavities are the two most common dental problems that are often seen in autistic patients.

Listed below are other examples of common dental problems that patients with autism are more prone to:

  •  Gingival overgrowth
  • Early and late tooth decay
  • Severe, early periodontal gum disease
  • The habit of constantly grinding their teeth, which is also known as “bruxism”
  • Tooth anomalies that are related to the size, shape, and the number of teeth present in the mouth
  • Accelerated, inconsistent, and/or delayed eruption of one or more tooth
  • Pits, discoloration, lines, and other developmental defects that are seen in teeth