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Caring For Oral Health With Parkinson’S Disease

Dr Martin Abelar - April 12, 2021 - 0 comments

Parkinson’s disease affects an estimated seven to ten million people around the world.  This debilitating illness can often make everyday tasks extremely difficult. As a result, patients with Parkinson’s may struggle to care for daily hygiene including caring for their teeth and oral health.

A recent study in the publication Neurology and Therapy, entitled “Evidence-Based Recommendations for the Oral Health of Patients With Parkinson’s Disease” has come up with some suggestions for patients with Parkinson’s disease to help care for their oral health.

While it can be difficult, researchers encourage Parkinson’s patients to do the best they can, alternating hands while brushing and flossing their teeth if necessary. If this is not possible, recruit a helper to assist with brushing and flossing.

The other major suggestion of researchers is asking Parkinson’s patients to attend regular dental exams, as this preventative care can help stave off illnesses like gum disease and dental caries. 

Doctors urge those with Parkinson’s to make oral health a priority despite struggling with other symptoms that can be stressful and debilitating. Unfortunately, studies have shown that patients with Parkinson’s disease have higher instances of dental caries (cavities) and may require more teeth to be pulled if they do not treat these caries in time.

Furthermore, there are higher instances of hyposalivation or drooling in Parkinson’s patients, as this can be uncontrollable. Speaking to a dentist about this issue can be beneficial. For patients who have chronic dry mouth, your dentist can assist with this as well, by offering prescription mouthwashes or moisture sprays.

Patients with Parkinson’s disease also are at higher risk for gum disease and temporomandibular joint dysfunction, both of which can be successfully addressed by your dentist.

Patients with Parkinson’s disease also may develop a condition called burning mouth syndrome, which can be addressed by your dentist as well.  To learn more about oral health care with Parkinson’s disease, speak to Dr. Abelar and he can help address your individual issues. The most important thing is that you attend regular appointments and do the best you can to care for your oral health between appointments.

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