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Published online: 2024-05-27

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Feeding problems and temporomandibular dysfunction in children with cerebral palsy

Roksana Malak12, Ewa Mojs3, Włodzimierz Samborski12

Abstract

Children with cerebral palsy encounter many problems in everyday life. One of them is feeding difficulties. These are some crucial problems which cause feeding disfunction in children with cerebral palsy. The first problem is structural abnormalities such as abnormal muscle tone and dysfunction of the temporomandibular articulation. Non-progressive brain injury manifests in uncoordinated mandibular movements, reduced biting force and alterations in muscular tone. Main muscles which are engaged in the process of eating are: masseter, suprahyoid or temporal muscles. Another issue which may be associated with feeding problem is excessive drooling and its variable consequences. The next dysfunction refers to breathing problem, which may be the primary or secondary reason of feeding difficulties. To summarize, the therapy of feeding dysfunction should contains harmonization of muscle tone, especially tone of muscles directly connected to the temporomandibular joint and stomatognathic system, reducing sialorrhea and regulating breathing.

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