Healthy Living

Oral Health and Parkinson's Disease

Working With the Dentist on Management and Treatment

The most important  and first step in the treatment plan should happen between the patient, their caregiver and dental team, in order to assess and address all current and future symptoms that may occur to then create a plan to combat them. This should be done soon after the diagnosis so that preventative care can then begin. In subsequent visits, some of the things that the dental team should be looking for are xerostomia, root caries, drooling, burning mouth and dysphagia.

Because of muscle tremors and rigidity, the dental team needs to learn just how long a patient can keep the mouth open. Various toothbrushing aids such as electronic or aspirating toothbrushes, dental dams, high fluoride concentrate toothpastes and mouth washes, will empower the patient to perform self-care. If the patient suffers severe tremors or rigidity and this isn’t possible, a collaborative effort where caregivers are not only well trained, but understand the importance of oral care in maintaining the patient's health should be stressed.