ADHD: Is it affecting your Child’s Oral Health?
There has been much talk about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the media for the past few years. Questions are forever arising over the causation and treatment of the condition. Whilst we cannot comment with authority on these issues, we can however advise you on how the condition can potentially be impacting your child’s oral health.
Surveys show that as of 2007 approximately 5.4million children (worldwide) between the ages of 4 and 17 are diagnosed with ADHD. Authorities are also estimating that of those 5.4million children, up to 60% of them will carry the condition through to adulthood. That means that approximately 3.2million people could be suffering from oral complications which could be exacerbated by their ADHD.
Research has shown that oral health issues such as periodontal conditions (inflamed gums, gingivitis etc) cavities, tooth decay and teeth grinding and jaw clenching are very common amongst patients who suffer from ADHD. The link between ADHD and these oral conditions is likely caused by the neurobehavioral nature of ADHD which causes sufferers to exhibit symptoms of lack of focus, problems controlling behaviour and hyperactivity. This then stems into the patients maintaining poor hygiene and increasing their consumption of sugary foods. Though we do also acknowledge that the medication used to treat ADHD could also contribute to some of the oral conditions.
Fortunately, all of these oral conditions are treatable. Some, such as the teeth grinding and jaw clenching, can be treated by wearing a mouth guard or bite guard. These can be specially fitted and ordered through our office. Other conditions such as the tooth decay, cavities and periodontitis can also be treated in our office and then prevented by an improved oral hygiene regimen.
We understand that implementing a regular oral hygiene regimen can be difficult for sufferers of ADHD. This is why we at KIDS pride ourselves on providing a stress-free and enjoyable service for your whole family. Our staff are specially trained to provide you with numerous alternative treatments and are more than happy to tailor a regimen specifically for your child. Our aim is to give your child the tools with which they can carry through to adulthood, whilst managing their ADHD.
Please contact us today to arrange a time to discuss your child’s oral health.
2016, “ADHD and Oral Health” [online]