Oral Health Disparities Between Adults with IDD and the General (MA UCEDD/LEND)

August 13, 2018

Research indicates that people with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) experience poorer oral hygiene, higher prevalence and severity of periodontal disease and have a higher incidence of untreated caries than the general population. Barriers to good care for people with IDD range from policy and financial constraints, lack of trained clinicians that limit access to necessary care, attitudes that minimize the importance of oral health among care providers, and factors related to health behaviors that limit the ability to tolerate dental procedures.

People with IDD are often excluded from research due to consent requirements, or when included, there is no means of distinguishing outcomes for this subpopulation. Using a formal protocol and expert panels, a systematic review led by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, along with partner American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD), identified a wide range of interventions related to the oral health for people with IDD. The limited available evidence and research findings resulted in a methods paper on the literature review, and a promising practices document of this emerging field.

Both documents can be found here: https://shriver.umassmed.edu/programs/cdder/oral-health-disparities