Oral health is essential for everyone, but people living with Parkinson’s disease need to pay particular attention to their mouth, teeth and gums to limit any problems.
According to the National Parkinsons Foundation, Parkinson’s disease can affect oral health in a number of ways. As facial muscles become impacted by the condition, it can change the way a person speaks and chews, which can be compounded if the patient also has missing teeth or toothaches.
Not being able to chew food properly because of dental problems can lead to an increased risk of choking as some may experience problems swallowing larger pieces of food. Aspiration (inhaling particles of food or drink) could also lead to the development of dangerous lung infections such as pneumonia.
If the patient is also taking medications to suppress the immune system for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, these may increase the risk of infection if they have any dental problems such as cavities, inflamed gums, loose teeth, or abscesses.
Regular visits to the dentist, as well as twice daily brushing and flossing (or properly cleaning dentures), will help to eliminate most dental problems.
Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.