Multiple sclerosis and your oral health

How will multiple sclerosis affect your dental treatment?

Multiple sclerosis affects the way you control your muscles. It may be hard for you to brush and floss your teeth. You may want to consider getting toothbrushes that are easier to hold. Aside from toothbrushes, consider getting other adaptive dental care appliances.

Multiple sclerosis could paralyze a part of your face or your whole face. Other nerve diseases could affect your face and mouth. These diseases could cause numbness in your teeth, chin, jaws, or lips. If you are having trouble swallowing and maintaining good oral hygiene then you could get tooth decay and gingivitis.

As your multiple sclerosis gets worse, it could become hard or maybe impossible to wear dentures. Small partial dentures could get dislodged and they could even be swallowed while the larger dentures may fall out more often or may not fit properly anymore.

You should keep the length of your dental visits at a comfortable length of time because you must avoid as much stress and fatigue as possible. You may have a hard time sitting in the dental chair during an appointment. If you are severely paralyzed, paraplegic, or quadriplegic then the dentist may use some padding on their dental chairs to avoid pressure sores and pain. Your dentist may also change your position to minimize stress. Your dentist could have someone there to help you get in the chair and get out of the chair. If you can not be moved from your wheelchair then your dentist may be able to treat you on your wheelchair.

It could be hard for you to open your mouth for extended periods of time. Controlling your tongue movements and controlling your swallowing could also be problems. Your dentist will have special devices to help you. Your dentist may use a rubber bite block or a mouth prop in between your teeth so that your mouth is kept open. Your dentist could use a tongue retractor to keep your tongue steady. A thin piece of rubber or a rubber dam could be stretched over your teeth so that you won’t inhale foreign substances while being treated at the dentist’s office.

You should know that if your dentist prescribes any sedatives to you, you may have worse control of your muscles. You should make your dentist and your doctor collaborate so that proper medical treatment and dental treatment is administered on you.