Importance Of Oral Health Care In MS Patients

Dental Care & MS

 Proper Oral Health Care To Prevent MS Relapse

We all know how important it is to try and prevent any type of infection from setting up because infection can cause us to go into a relapse from Multiple Sclerosis. One of the places that we all tend to put off getting continuing care is with our mouth. Oral health is so vital to stay current on but the dentist office is one place we put off going until an urgent problem arises. One of the reasons for me is because dental care is so freaking expensive and over the years, my insurance premiums have gotten higher with reduced coverage. Unless you go in for a routine exam, x-ray, and cleaning, any other procedures can clean out a checking account before you snap your fingers.

There are several medications which can cause dry mouth issues which leads to tooth decay and cavities. These two things can lead to tooth breakage which can cause an infection. Then there is gum disease or gingivitis which can cause a host of issues along with the loss of teeth. Brushing, flossing, and using a preventative mouth wash is recommended at least twice a day but encouraged after eating each meal. Dentists also recommend coming in twice a year for a healthy checkup.

Some of the medications we take for MS can cause a reduction in your WBC, white blood cells, which can cause us to catch an infection even easier than others. This issue alone should encourage us to take extra precautions and be vigilant with our oral care and to get in to a dentist at the first sign of abnormal symptom such as bleeding gums, mouth sores which take a long time to heal, pain in mouth or jaw, or finding a chipped or broken tooth. Most of us aren’t aware of tooth decay until we bite down on some sort of food and realize we have broken a tooth. Fillings and caps/crowns only have a certain life span before further treatment must be done. It is important to maintain regular visits to make sure that the affected teeth are remaining in good condition.

Other than routine cleanings and checks, it is highly recommended that any other dental work that is performed that you are provided with a prescription for an antibiotic to take preventatively. Once again, alerting your dentist that you have Multiple Sclerosis needs to happen so he/she is aware you are susceptible for infections. He may recommend other types of mouth rinses to use to help stay healthy.

The last reason to stay current on possible mouth issues is because if you have the kind of luck that I do, the loss of a crown, breakage of a tooth, or any other potential problem is going to happen after 5 pm on a Friday. This means you get to live with that issue over a very long weekend which gives your mouth additional time to have an infection set up. I know with all the other problems we have to address and all the office visits we already attend that going to a dreaded dentist is the last thing on our to-do-list. I feel the same way, but the alternative of having to wait for an appointment when you have an issue that needs addressed immediately, is not only difficult but will be more expensive in the long run. Make your appointment today for your bi-annual checkup.

MS Blogger and Multiple Sclerosis Activist shares her journey living with MS, tips for others living MS and her husband, Steve, offers his insight as a caregiver for MS.