Good dental care is just as important for people with haemophilia as it is for other people, and regular visits to the dentist should be made.
Proper dental care should start as soon as the ‘milk’ teeth appear in babies and continue into adulthood. This includes:
- Brushing the teeth just after breakfast and before going to bed
- Regular flossing between the teeth
- Avoiding too many sugary foods and drinks.
Poor dental care can lead to gum disease (sometimes called gingivitis), which can cause bleeding from the gums if the area is traumatised.
When children with haemophilia lose their ‘milk’ teeth, they do not tend to bleed any more than other children. However, if teeth need to be extracted later in life because of decay, infection or overcrowding, admission to hospital is usually advised as a precautionary measure.
While in hospital, the individual with haemophilia will usually be checked for inhibitors and given extra clotting factor before any work is undertaken. Dental extraction may be completed under a local or general anaesthetic and most people can go home fairly soon afterwards. If the extraction is complicated or bleeding is excessive, a longer stay in hospital may be needed.