Which physical findings of the mouth and teeth are characteristic of Down syndrome?

Updated: Apr 30, 2018
  • Author: Gratias Tom Mundakel, MBBS, DCH; Chief Editor: Maria Descartes, MD  more...
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Answer

Characteristic features include a (relatively) small mouth with a tendency for tongue protrusion, a fissured and furrowed tongue, mouth breathing with drooling, a chapped lower lip, angular cheilitis, partial anodontia (50%), tooth agenesis, malformed teeth, delayed tooth eruption, microdontia (35-50%) in both the primary and secondary dentition (see the image below), hypoplastic and hypocalcified teeth, malocclusion, taurodontism (0.54-5.6%), and increased periodontal destruction. Cleft lip or palate may occur but is rare.

Hypodontia in patient with Down syndrome. Image co Hypodontia in patient with Down syndrome. Image courtesy of L. Dourmishev, MD, PhD, DSc.

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