What to Know About Multiple Sclerosis and Dental Extractions
Multiplesclerosis can affect dental care.
Increased need for dental visits and tooth removal can be caused by the symptoms of multiplesclerosis and the medications you take.
There are steps you can take to make it easier to manage your dental health.
In this article, we look at how multiplesclerosis affects dental care and tooth removal and what you can do to address these challenges.
Multiple sclerosis can affect your daily dental care and the dental care you receive from professionals.
Dental hygiene challenges
Multiplesclerosis can make it hard to keep up with dental hygiene. Multiplesclerosis may cause symptoms.
- Holding a toothbrush and brushing it can be difficult.
- A weakened grip can make holding a toothbrush difficult.
- fatigue can make daily tasks overwhelming
- It makes brushing and flossing painful.
- Depression and other mood changes can affect motivation.
Additionally, people who have multiple sclerosis are often prescribed medications that can cause dry mouth and sugary dietary supplements that can lead to plaque buildup. These medications and supplements can cause unwanted side effects, like tooth decay and gum disease.
It can be difficult to manage the side effects while you manage the other symptoms.
Dental care challenges
People with multiplesclerosis might have dental challenges.
Some dental professionals are not used to treating people with multiplesclerosis. They might not have a set up for people with multiplesclerosis and may have dental chairs that are difficult to sit in for long periods of time.
People with multiplesclerosis have other dental care challenges.
- An inability to keep your head still during a dental exam.
- Respiratory issues make it difficult to take deep breaths in a dental chair.
- It is hard to hold the mouth open without assistance.
Regular dental visits can be a challenge for people with multiple sclerosis. Visits for procedures such as dental extractions can add to those challenges.
The pain and difficulty of standard dental work can be increased by tooth removal. The challenges and accommodations are dependent on the patient, severity of their symptoms, and the number of extractions needed.
A dentist will take certain steps when a patient has multiplesclerosis.
- Taking breaks every 5 to 10 minutes to make sure you are comfortable.
- The patient can use a mouth prop to hold their mouth open.
- The dental chair has specialized cushions or pads.
- The patient and their doctor need to coordinate the medication doses on the day of the procedure.
Multiplesclerosis can weaken the teeth. If your teeth are not strong enough, a dentist might recommend dental implants to help you.
Dental implants are more permanent than dentures and are often considered a better option for people with multiple sclerosis.
You should consult with your doctor and dentist about the procedure of a dental removal. A dentist can help you with your procedure.
There are some things you can do at home to make dental care easier. These include:
- Electric toothbrushes. Electric toothbrushes can help make brushing your teeth more feasible and less tiring.
- Wide or long-handled toothbrushes. Toothbrushes with wide and long handles are easier to grip and control.
- Plastic flossers. If regular floss is hard to manage, a plastic-handled flosser can be a big help.
- A Waterpik. A Waterpik can help clean between your teeth and is easier to manage than flossing.
- A weighted glove. A weighted glove can help keep your hand from shaking while you brush.
- Bathroom seats. Stools and benches in your bathroom can give you a place to rest while you brush.
You can take steps to improve your dental hygiene at home. These include:
- Avoiding smoking. Smoking is hard on teeth and your gums.
- Staying hydrated. Drinking water can help avoid dry mouth and help your mouth stay cleaner.
- Using a humidifier. A humidifier can keep the air around you moist and help prevent dry mouth, especially at night.
- Chewing gum. Chewing gum encourages saliva production in your mouth. This prevents dry mouth and that can help prevent cavities. Sugar-free gum is recommended.
- Making regular dental appointments. Seeing the dentist regularly is an important part of staying healthy.
- Eating a well-balanced diet. Limit foods high in sugars and acids.
- Replacing your toothbrush every 3 months. Bacteria and plaque can build up on your toothbrush, also, worn-out bristles can be overly abrasive on your gums, which can lead to gum recession and inflammation.
Can multiple sclerosis affect the nerves in the teeth?
Multiple sclerosis can cause a type of nerve pain called trigeminal neuralgia. Trigeminal neuralgia is not in your teeth. Instead, it’s nerve pain on the side of your face.
The pain is felt in the jaw and teeth. It can make dental work very painful.
Can a tooth extraction with multiple sclerosis lead to a stroke?
No, there is no link between multiple sclerosis, tooth extractions, and strokes.
Are there certain dental treatments you should avoid with multiple sclerosis?
Usually not. Multiplesclerosis can be different from person to person. People with the same type of multiplesclerosis can have different symptoms.
Some people may have symptoms or take drugs that could interfere with dental treatments. Before you have any treatments, make sure to talk to your doctor and dentist.
Is the risk for post-extraction infection greater due to a multiple sclerosis-weakened immune system?
Multiplesclerosis does not weaken your immune system.
“It causes your immune system to attack healthy nerve cells, but it doesn’t prevent infections from fighting. You are not at an increased risk of getting an STD.”
However, many people with multiple sclerosis are on medications, such as corticosteroids, that can lead to a weakened immune system. This is why it’s important to tell your dentist about all the medications you take before you have an extraction or any other dental procedure.
You might need to take antibiotics to prevent infections after your surgery.
If you do develop a dental infection, it may lead to a pseudoexacerbation, which is a temporary increase in multiple sclerosis symptoms.
People with multiplesclerosis can have a challenge with their dental health. The risk of tooth decay and gum disease can be increased by symptoms and medications. It can be difficult to visit the dentist.
People with multiplesclerosis might have difficulties with dental procedures. It is best to have your doctor and dentist talk about how to proceed with an extract. People with multiplesclerosis may be better served by dentists and dental offices.
Taking steps to protect dental health is one of the best ways to avoid dental extractions. People with multiplesclerosis can use resources like adaptive dental hygiene equipment and take time to build good oral health habits.