Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurodevelopmental condition comprising a group of permanent disorders of movement and posture that are attributed to nonprogressive disturbances of the developing brain. The neuromuscular problems inherent in CP can affect oral health significantly in several ways. These can include changes in structure of the orofacial region, feeding problems, difficulties with maintaining oral hygiene; additionally, people with CP can encounter barriers in accessing oral health care. Several studies have examined caries rates in individuals who have CP. However, to date, no population-based studies have been published defining the risk factors for dental caries experience among children with CP. There is a high prevalence of orofacial motor dysfunction among people with CP, which can hinder oral hygiene and hence increase dental biofilm formation and retention. Factors such as food consistency, snacking between meals, and associated oromotor dysfunction have also been reported to contribute to the high incidence of caries found in those with CP. Therefore, this chapter will aim to describe the oral health status and factors affecting dental caries experience of children with CP, while also providing preventative and restorative recommendations to combat the prevalence of this disease.
Part of the book: Cerebral Palsy