Healthy Living

Oral Health and Parkinson's Disease

Dental Visits

Dental visits should be scheduled far in advance, and should optimally be booked for the time of day approximately two to three hours after medications have been taken, this will give them enough time to enter the patient's bloodstream and take effect. Patient care needs to be customized to take into account the level of cognitive and motor functions present in individual patients. If need be, the patient should be allowed to take breaks. If necessary, gentle arm restraints can be used to minimize any tremors or uncontrollable movement that may occur, having a member of the team cradle the patient’s head during the procedure is also a viable option as are props to keep the mouth open for long periods of time. To avoid the patient choking in the chair, special attention should be paid to back suctioning of liquids and saliva.

The team should also be aware of what medications the patient is taking and any interactions as a small amount of sedative such as midazolam may also be indicated the longer a procedure continues. Sedatives should be used in limited capacities however because some Parkinson’s medications like Tasmar and Comtan may have adverse interactions with local anesthetic administration of epinephrine. To counteract that, epinephrine administration should be limited to 1:100,000 using no more than two to three carpules of any anesthetic.

Diet should also be examined and structured for patients, with an emphasis on low sugar foods to avoid plaque buildup on teeth.