Dental Treatment Options If Your Child Has Cohen Syndrome

Posted on: 24 March 2015

Cohen syndrome is a rare genetic condition with symptoms that affect several regions of the body. Mental impairment, degenerative eye disease, weak muscles, and thick hair are all symptoms of Cohen syndrome. In the mouth region, a shortening of the skin between the nose and mouth and prominent front teeth make the mouth appear permanently open.

Dental treatments for your child's prominent teeth are mostly cosmetic, though treatment can also improve the bite. Determining what treatment your child should undergo can depend upon the level of mental impairment and whether any other dental issues are occurring at the same time. It's important to establish a relationship with a family dentistry office early in your child's life to begin discussing your options.

Severe Cohen: Parent Practices Good Oral Health

If your child's mental impairment is severe enough that you are a full-time caregiver, a dentist likely won't perform a cosmetic dental procedure on the front teeth. The reasons for this include the fact that the procedure is entirely optional, it could cause emotional distress for your child, and your child might physically resist attempts to install braces.

Bu, that doesn't mean your child's dental health is any less important. If gingivitis, cavities or other common dental problems keep reoccurring, meet with a family dentist to discuss ways you can work together to improve your child's oral health. This might include the use of prescription fluoride toothpaste. With your cooperation, the dentist might also schedule regular cleanings once a level of comfort is established between the dentist and your child. 

Mild to Moderate Cohen: Clear Braces

If your child has mild to moderate mental impairment, he or she might express a desire to have the front teeth corrected. This might be for cosmetic reasons or due to the physical discomfort that bite problems can cause.

Clear braces can help correct the prominent front teeth if your child has already grown in all of his or her permanent teeth. The clear braces can be taken out for eating or if your child becomes uncomfortable throughout the day. It's best to leave the tray in for as long as possible, but the ability to remove the tray might prove easier emotionally than being locked into wire braces.

Note that pushing the front teeth back into place won't automatically make them proportional to neighboring teeth. That would require veneers; they are installed by shaving down the existing tooth. That sort of procedure isn't necessary unless the front teeth are causing serious discomfort. And, braces plus veneers won't completely eliminate the distinctive open-mouthed look of Cohen's. That would also require plastic surgery on the skin between the nose and the mouth, and that is very likely to be completely unnecessary from a medical standpoint.

Search for an orthodontist, like David Semrau, DDS, in your area who has experience treating patients with Cohen-like symptoms. Those offices are more likely to be equipped to make your child comfortable throughout the process both physically and mentally.


Stopping Tooth Decay Before It Ruins Lives

After a numerous visits to the dentist to fix my cavities, I am proud to say that I'm officially tooth decay free. I used to be a slacker when it came to brushing and flossing my teeth. But after almost losing my teeth to bad cavities and a major gum disease scare, I changed my oral hygiene habits for good. I now feel better about my appearance because I pay more attention to my dental care. I even make it to my dental appointments without numerous reminders from my dentist. If you have bad cavities and fear losing your teeth, read through my blog. It'll give you valuable tips to help you stay cavity-free.