If your child suffers from epilepsy, you know that seizures affect every part of the body. While taking care of oral health might not be your first priority in this battle against epilepsy, it should be a high one. If you and your child don't fight for good oral health, epilepsy will gain the upper hand. Some oral concerns related to seizures are addressed below, along with strategies you can use to defeat them.
Under Attack – The Value of Medication
Your enemy knows you well and it uses your own tools against you. One of the best tactics to overcoming epilepsy is also your child's weakness: medication. Seizure medication is an effective way to control seizures. Unfortunately, they weaken teeth in the process. To gain the high ground against epilepsy, you have to sacrifice oral health.
Your Best Defense – A Bigger Army
One of the best ways children with epilepsy can care for their teeth is by increasing their army. All health care professionals should be aware of your child's struggle – pediatricians, neurologists, and even dentists should know what combat your child is engaged in. Dentists should be kept up-to-date on the progress of this battle and all medications used to overcome epilepsy. Your child's dentist will know how to aid in oral difficulties such as infection, bleeding gums, and dry mouth.
Under Attack – The Integrity of Teeth
Epilepsy throws a lot of daggers – loosened teeth, oral trauma, cracked teeth and more – at your child. Unfortunately, they can't all be dodged. During a seizure, your child's jaw muscles are clenched tightly, but the teeth are rattling back and forth. If your child falls, teeth could be impacted from an exterior source as well, causing them to chip, crack, or even come completely out.
Your Best Defense – Dental Treatment
Loosened teeth can cause discomfort when your child is eating and talking. They also open avenues for gum disease, crooked teeth, and premature tooth loss. Take your child to the dentist following a seizure that results in a sore mouth. If your child's teeth have come loose, their dentist can tighten them. In extreme cases, where teeth have been pushed further into the gums or pulled completely out of them, procedures such as surgery or braces may be necessary to repair the damage. Finally, chipped or broken teeth can be filled to look natural and prevent further breakage.
Under Attack – Long-Term Oral Health
Every year that your child suffers from epilepsy is another year of wear and tear on their body. A final scheme epilepsy uses to defeat its enemies is persistence. This is not a battle that your child faces once or twice during their lifetime, it is a long-lasting struggle. And this means that your child's oral cavity is always on the defense, as well.
Your Best Defense – Soldier Resilience and Hope
Your child is a soldier in this battle against epilepsy. Never let them forget their individual strengths and your admiration for and support of them. These are the things that build your little soldier's resilience to the enemy's attacks. Don't forget to take hope, either. While epilepsy is a life-long battle, the frequency and intensity of seizures often decreases (although they may not diminish) with age. Your child's hope will carry them through each battle to emerge victorious.
Battling epilepsy is a long-term struggle your child is engaged in. Keep in mind that neurologists aren't the only health care professionals who should be aware of this battle. Your child's pediatric dentist can help your child overcome some of the side effects this enemy throws at them by noting early signs of oral problems and treating other complications that result from seizures.