What You Need To Know When Your Child Is Diagnosed With Papillon-Lefevre Syndrome

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Has your dentist informed you that your little one has PLS, or Papillon-Lefevre Syndrome? In a way, it may be nice to have a diagnosis after weeks or months of worrying while your child's baby teeth are loosening and falling out. On the other hand, you're probably quite concerned since you know little about this rare dental condition. Knowledge is power, so here's a look at the basics that you'll want to know about PLS.

What causes PLS?

PLS is caused by a mutation to a certain gene. This mutation can be inherited but it is a recessive trait, which means that both you and the child's other parent had to have been carrying the trait in order for your child to inherit the condition. You had no way of knowing that you carried this gene, so do not feel guilty. Nothing that you did before, during, or after your pregnancy caused your child's ailment.

What problems does PLS cause?

As you've likely already noticed, PLS wreaks havoc on your child's teeth. The baby teeth typically fall out soon after they erupt. Your child's adult teeth will also be affected. They will likely erupt normally, but will become loose and fall out when your child is a teen. PLS causes ongoing swelling and irritation of the gums and of the periodontal ligaments, which anchor the teeth in place. Once the condition weakens the periodontal ligaments enough, the tooth just falls out of the socket.

How is PLS treated?

There is no way to cure this condition or save your child's teeth. However, your child can be fitted for a denture, which he or she will have to wear throughout childhood until the adult teeth emerge. Once the adult teeth emerge, your dentist may allow them to fall out naturally or may remove them. Then, your child will once again need to wear a complete or partial denture until their bones stop growing. At that time, they can have dental implants inserted into their jaw bone. The implants will fuse with the jaw, and once your child has healed, they will look and function like normal teeth. Implants cannot develop cavities, but your child will still need to brush and floss regularly to protect their gums.

Dealing with PLS is no walk in the park, but with the care of a good dentist and doctor, your child can continue to eat comfortably and flash a smile throughout childhood and the rest of their life. Contact a company like Kappenman Family Dental to learn more.