Objective: The purpose of the study was to present the results of an oral examination of individuals with thalidomide embryopathy in relation to dental conditions and functional aspects of the masticatory system, with a special focus on tooth wear.
Material and methods: All 108 subjects with thalidomide embryopathy living in Sweden were invited to participate in a comprehensive investigation, and approximately one-third, 31 subjects (13 F and 18 M, aged 45-49 years), took part. The methods included a questionnaire and clinical and radiographic examinations.
Results: Most of the subjects had regular dental care, which they in general considered sufficient. All except one always brushed their teeth themselves. One subject had limited mouth opening (25 mm). There were no great deviations from normal anatomy and function of the masticatory system. Caries and periodontal conditions were also normal. Regurgitation was reported by 42% of the subjects. Tooth wear was more extensive than in comparable age groups. About a third of the subjects had Class III or edge-to-edge occlusion.
Conclusions: In general, subjects with thalidomide embryopathy had no great deviations in dental conditions from people of the same age in the general population except for an increased rate of tooth wear and a higher prevalence of prenormal jaw relations. Tooth wear was related less to use of the teeth as tools and more to dental erosion associated, among other things, with a high rate of regurgitation.