Swapna V Thampi
Abstract: Autism Spectrum Disorder1 is a developmental disorder where affected children have difficulties in social communication and Restricted, repetitive behavior or interests including signs of sensory sensitivities. To be diagnosed with ASD the child must have difficulties in both areas and the symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life. ASD is a lifelong developmental disability in which almost 70 % of the affected individuals need lifelong care and protection. As children and adult with ASD has difficulties in maintaining oral hygiene, dental care is always a concern for parents and care takers. Persons with ASD vary widely in symptoms and severity and many people have co existing conditions such Intellectual Disability, epilepsy etc. They often do not express pain and discomfort and this will create further worry to parents. Restricted repetitive behaviors, obsessive routines, sensory integration difficulties which people with ASD exhibit can complicate dental care. In India, Many Dental Care Professionals are not aware of ASD and the differences which creates in each affected person. Sensitization programs for Dental health professionals and hospital staff are needed so that they will be empathetic and willing to give treatment to persons with ASD in their clinics. The study attempts to elaborate how parents and care takers can provide dental care and oral hygiene practices to persons with ASD with the support from dental health professionals. Most children and adults with ASD have mild gingival inflammation and there is plaque accumulation. There is urgent need of preventive intervention and oral health education is required.
Keywords: Dental Care, Autism Spectrum Disorders, DSM-5