Oral health

Inequalities in oral health and access to dental services in children and young people with learning disabilities

The dental health of children in Scotland has improved over the last decade. However, inequalities in child oral health remain. Some groups of children are particularly at risk, including those from economically disadvantaged communities and those with learning disabilities. We investigated the oral and dental health service access among young children with additional support needs (ASN) compared to the general child population in Scotland. Read more about this work. 

Prevalence of toothlessness in people with learning disabilities


Good oral health is fundamental to general health, wellbeing and quality of life. Despite this, adults with learning disabilities may have poorer oral health compared to the general population. This is a preventable prevalent problem; personalised care and good oral hygiene can combat the two main dental problems (tooth decay and gum disease).  Read more about this research here.

Systematic literature review of oral health in adults with learning disabilities


There have been previous reports of adults with learning disabilities experiencing poor oral health, in terms of tooth loss, periodontal (gum) health and untreated dental caries (decay). However in recent years, social care provision has changed, with deinstitutionalisation and home-based personalised care now being the typical provision in high income countries. Therefore, we aimed to critically review and synthesise recent world-wide evidence relating to adults with learning disabilities and oral health.  Read about our review and findings here.

Dental experiences of adults with learning disabilities


There is increasing evidence suggesting that people with learning disabilities have greater dental needs. However, these studies have methodological limitations, to address this we conducted a large data linkage study to identify the oral health experiences of adults with learning disabilities compared to the general population.  Read about this research here.