Mouth and Tooth (Oral) Care

Mouth and tooth care is important for all children, but may be overlooked as an important part of healthcare because there are so many other concerns faced by boys with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy. In many teens and adults with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy, the teeth on the top and bottom don’t come together normally, which is called malocclusion.

How often to have monitoring, and what is involved

Healthcare providers usually suggest regular dental care (every 6 months) by a traditional dentist, as they do for all children. Especially when independent self-care and mobility become more difficult for the person, healthcare providers may suggest a specialist dentist. Healthcare providers should refer to a dentist who has experience with the tooth and bone development in muscular dystrophy, if there is one in a boy’s area.

Dental care involves regular cleaning and preventive tooth care. When a person loses strength in his hands, arms, and neck, the dentist should talk with the family about assistive devices to help with mouth care.

To learn more:

  • “Oral care” section of the TREAT-NMD recommendations
  • Morel-Verdebout C, Botteron S, and Kiliaridis S. Dentofacial characteristics of growing patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy: a morphological study. The European Journal of Orthodontics 2007 29:500-507.