General Dentistry for Children with Cerebral Palsy

  • Harvey LevyEmail author
Living reference work entry


Dental treatment is considered the greatest unmet health need of the disabled (Kumar et al., J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 27(3):151–157, 2009). Ever since its initial description by Dr. WJ Little in 1861 (initially known as Little’s Disease) and later called cerebral palsy (CP), it has prevented children from receiving the same level of oral health care as other children, despite the fact that it is currently the most common congenital neuromuscular disorder (Jones et al., J Pediatr Health Care 21(3):146–152, 2007; Patton and Glick (eds), The ADA practical guide to patients with medical conditions. Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, 2012).

There are many reasons that children suffering from CP do not enjoy the same quality of life, including freedom from oral discomfort, pain, and infection. The complexities of raising a child with CP mean that oral health often takes a back seat to the child’s other needs. Dental professionals may be uncomfortable, untrained, unable, or unwilling to treat these children. This chapter will address daily proper home care as well as adequate and correct dental diagnoses, treatment plans, and successful procedures in dental care settings. It will also outline unique procedures utilizing acupressure points to safely open and maintain open the mouths of children with CP so that dental professionals can perform adequate clinical exams and treatment. Clinical cases will be presented to clarify or illustrate some of these points.


Cerebral palsy General dentistry Pedodontics Acupuncture Mouth opening 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryFrederick Memorial HospitalFrederickUSA
  2. 2.University of Maryland School of DentistryBaltimoreUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Steven Bachrach
    • 1
  • Freeman Miller
    • 2
  1. 1.Al duPont Hospital for ChildrenWilmingtonUSA
  2. 2.AI DuPont Hospital for ChildrenWilmingtonUSA

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