Multiple Sclerosis and its impact on oral health
People with Multiple Sclerosis have high chances of developing oral diseases in direct and indirect ways.
Multiple Sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves in the eyes resulting in problems like fatigue, motor impairment, etc. It begins in the central nervous system (CNS) and progresses gradually.
Deterioration of Multiple Sclerosis will cause permanent damage to the CNS and alters the nerve functions. Its aftereffects propagate all over the body and provoke problems like facial pain, sexual dysfunction, memory problems, etc. Likewise, various dental disorders occur with this demyelinating disease.
How does multiple sclerosis cause oral disorders?
Dentists observed that this disease hurts our teeth and gums on a biochemical level We have highlighted the common dental dilemma provoked by multiple sclerosis here:
Gum diseases – When the central nervous system is affected with plaques created on it, it alters the nerve functions. It is followed by weakening the immune system and it elevates the inflammatory levels of our body. Gum diseases are more likely to happen with such heightened levels of inflammation.
Likewise, the chemical substances produced with the compromised nerve system due to multiple sclerosis also penetrate the gum membranes and deteriorate the infection in the gums.
On the other hand, the therapeutic medications are taken to treat multiple sclerosis also have harmful effects on our oral health. Researches show that the MS medications are powerful to compromise the immune system which is followed by an array of issues like:
- Dry Mouth
- Dental Caries
- Oral Thrush
- Oral ulcers
- Angular Cheilitis, and much more.
Apart from these, Multiple Sclerosis patients cannot follow an effective dental routine as their manual dexterity is compromised. They cannot hold the brush, flossing wires, or other things for self-care. So oral bacteria remain to survive in their mouth and will damage the oral tissues.
Such dental infections and oral problems cannot be prevented until there is a dental intervention. Customized dental treatments, physical assistance, and little modifications in oral hygiene activities are essential for MS patients.
Dental Care for Multiple Sclerosis Patients
Regular dental checkups are essential for people suffering from this disorder. Dentists recommend bi-annual dental checkups because a thorough assessment should be made to identify defects or infections in the tissues, fixed appliances, fluoride exposure, and others to derive a treatment plan.
The biofilm developed on teeth surfaces due to the body’s inflammatory response will be removed by Periodontists to lower the gum infections.
Likewise, dentists help you to get nutritional supplements for oral health well-being and suggest alternatives for MS medications that cause oral illnesses.
Apart from physical assistance, we recommend the following oral hygiene solutions to Multiple Sclerosis sufferers whose motor skills are affected:
- Switch to an electric toothbrush
- Wear weighted gloves to stabilize hand movements
- Chew sugar-free gums
- Avoid tobacco products (Tobacco can intensify this neurodegenerative disorder)
Multiple Sclerosis happens for anyone but women, especially those who are in the age range between 20 and 45 are highly susceptible to this problem. Its inflammatory response and therapeutic medications end in various dental diseases. However, timely treatment and regular dental checkups will help in getting rid of such dental disputes.