A patient with Down's syndrome (Trisomy 21) may have difficulty with mastication and swallowing. Certain observations can help to identify a patient who may benefit from a careful assessment of masticatory function.


Observations that may indicate the presence of masticatory dysfunction:

(1) mouth open at rest

(2) protruding tongue

(3) placing the tongue under a glass or cup when drinking

(4) drooling at rest or when drinking

(5) snoring

(6) poor lingual lateralization

(7) poor bolus lateralization

(8) swallowing solid food without chewing

(9) food spillage and loss from the mouth

(10) coughing, choking or belching while eating or drinking

(11) chewing with the mouth open

(12) slow eating

(13) retention of food in the mouth

(14) spitting out food

(15) refusing to chew

(16) refusing to eat solid foods

(17) refusing to swallow

(18) uncontrolled facial movements

(19) pouting facial profile

(20) tooth grinding

(21) recurrent respiratory tract infections

(22) history of developmental delay in feeding


A patient with one or more of these findings should undergo a more careful evaluation.


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