Katlin R. Cannon, Melissa Stowe, and Brooke Ryan
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a common developmental neurological disorder affecting about 2-3 children out of 1,000. CP is the result of infant brain damage or abnormal development resulting in impaired muscle control, coordination, tone, reflex, posture, and balance. These patients are unable to control motor movements of their muscles of mastication and facial expression, causing excessive drooling, clenching, bruxism, and other oral health-related issues. This lack of motor control affects their ability to swallow and often limits these patients to a liquid diet. This can lead to vitamin deficiencies and result in further developmental problems. As an example, a deficiency in vitamin D may lead to osteoporosis, which manifests in the oral cavity as periodontal disease.
Even into adulthood, these individuals are often reliant on the care of others. It becomes the caregiver’s responsibility to ensure the individual with cerebral palsy is receiving consistent and effective oral hygiene, and to monitor the oral tissues for signs of disease or injury. The researchers reviewed primary and secondary literature published after 2014 on the subjects of cerebral palsy, general health considerations, and oral care. The aim of this investigation focuses on unique issues faced by patients with cerebral palsy, and how to effectively educate caregivers on risks and proper techniques for providing oral hygiene to these individuals.
Megan L. Dean, Rebecca Fields, and Hannah Fritz
Objective: To provide an analysis of the association between the longevity of breastfeeding and development of ECC. Determine the optimal time frame in which mothers should cease breastfeeding to reduce ECC development. Methods: Dr. Brickhouse, PubMed, Google Scholar and other scholarly databases were utilized to find current scientific evidence on the effects of breast milk on ECC. Relevant articles were summarized to write a review of literature. 16 articles published from 2015 to the present date were reviewed and cited. Results: From the studies, there is strong evidence to support breastfeeding beyond 12 months of age increases the prevalence of ECC. Furthermore, increased frequency and duration of breastfeeding leads to higher incidence of ECC. Conclusion: Findings indicate dental health care providers should recommend either ceasing breastfeeding at 12 months of age or provide ECC prevention education to caregivers. Further research is required to minimize data discrepancies between US and international countries.
Sydney C. Smith, Maegan Simms, and Barbara Brown
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, or SLE, is a chronic autoimmune disease which significantly affects various organs of the body and the oral cavity. According to various studies, SLE can cause an increased risk of periodontitis, fungal infections, and dental caries within the oral cavity. Periodontitis is an inflammatory condition mediated by an infectious etiology which affects the supporting tissues of the periodontium and alveolar bone. With SLE being an inflammatory condition as well, recent studies have emerged hypothesizing the possible association between SLE and periodontitis. Other effects on the oral cavity such as fungal infections including lichen planus and angular cheilitis are occasionally seen in patients with lupus. Furthermore, SLE has been shown to increase the prevalence of dental caries due to decreased salivary flow and pH, and subsequent changes in the oral flora. On a systemic level, internal inflammation of SLE could lead to several other problems within the body and certain medications patients take for SLE treatment can cause cutaneous lesions. Therefore, as clinicians, it is imperative to adequately review patient medical histories as well as perform intraoral and extraoral examinations in order to fully understand the possible contraindications between dental treatment and SLE. The purpose of this literature review is to inform clinicians on the oral and systemic aspects of SLE and how evidence-based decision making may impact dental treatment planning in order to provide patients with the best quality of care.
Mary X. Tran, Leira N. Jimenez, and Linda K. Blackburn
The Aloe vera plant is a succulent known for its rich content in vitamins and minerals, thus gaining popularity over the years in healthcare products. With advancements in alternative medicine, it has been recently found useful in dentistry due to properties such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial actions that contribute to wound healing. The purpose of this study was to examine and discover how Aloe vera can be used as an alternative therapy in the dental field. The PubMed, Google Scholar and Dentistry & Oral Sciences (DOSS) databases were utilized to find current scientific evidence on the effects of Aloe vera. Relevant articles were summarized to write a review of findings. In this study, 21 articles published from 2015 to present were reviewed. From the studies, there is strong evidence to support that Aloe vera exhibits beneficial effects in prevention of carious lesions, non-surgical scaling and root planing in patients with chronic periodontitis, and oral wounds. Furthermore, it is cost effective and easily accessible. This review’s findings indicate that dental health care providers could recommend Aloe vera as a preventive and an alternative treatment option to improve patients’ oral health status.