Thrombocytopenia refers to an abnormally low level of thrombocytes in the blood. Also known as platelets, thrombocytes are a blood component responsible for effective clotting. If your child has thrombocytopenia, he or she may feel tired, weak, dizzy, or experience shortness of breath.
While these are some of the most common symptoms, oral manifestations may develop as well. If you suspect that your child has platelet disorder, make an appointment with a pediatric dentistry services provider for further evaluation and treatment of the oral cavity. Here are some oral signs that your child may develop if he or she has an abnormally low platelet count and what you can do about them:
Excessive Or Prolonged Bleeding During Dental Procedures
If your child experiences excessive or prolonged bleeding during routine dental procedures, he or she may have a low platelet count. If you know that your child has thrombocytopenia, make sure you let the pediatric dentist know so that he or she can be extra gentle when examining the patient.
If the dentist determines that your child needs a tooth extraction, root canal, or periodontal treatment, he or she may refer your child back to his or her pediatrician to make sure that it is safe to begin treatment. If not an emergency, the pediatrician may recommend that all dental treatments be put on hold until the blood platelets have increased. This will help ensure that the dental procedure can be performed without the fear of a bleeding episode.
Not only can thrombocytopenia cause a pale complexion, it can also lead to paleness of the gums, tongue, and insides of the cheeks. After effective treatment, however, your child's oral mucosa and tongue will regain their natural pinkness.
Another oral symptom of a low platelet count that your child may develop is small purple or reddish pinpoint marks on the lining of the cheeks. Also known as petechiae, these pinpoints mark may indicate bleeding under the skin, which is not uncommon in those with a low blood platelet count.
Thrombocytopenia can occur as a result of a viral or bacterial infection, bone marrow disorders, blood diseases, and certain medications. While thrombocytopenia often resolves without treatment, it may take weeks or months for the platelets to rise to normal levels.
If your child has thrombocytopenia, work with both a pediatrician and pediatric dentistry services. When both of these pediatric doctors are involved in your child's care, he or she will be less likely to experience prolonged or severe bleeding during dental cleanings, tooth extractions, scaling and root planing procedures, and root canals.