Q: My Dad has Parkinson’s disease. He needs major dental work. I am worried; can you please tell me if there are any precautions?
Parkinson’s and Dental Problems
Firstly, I want to thank everyone who attended our last seminar on February 8th on Digital Dentistry. We had a great turn out and nobody fell asleep! And, only one homeless person this time wondered in for bagels and Danish.
I began my presentation with some stories about my job at an enema factory during my summers home from college, saving up for dental school. One attendee told me: “That sounds right up your alley!”
A: PD symptoms can greatly affect mouth, teeth and jaw health, sometimes complicating dental treatment.
- PD-rigidity, and tremor can make it impossible for good oral home care
- Increase in cracked teeth and tooth wear.
- Poor fit of existing dentures.
- Too much saliva causing fungal infections in the corners of the mouth; too little saliva resulting in more cavities at the gum line.
- Fatigue, anxiety and tremor make sitting till in the dental chair and opening wide challenging.
- Book short appointments for the time of day your symptoms are most effectively controlled.
- Have the dental office staff record vital signs upon arrival
- Tell the DDS if you are taking MAO-B inhibitors, Rasagiline and Selegiline whch may interact with anesthetics.
- Consider replacing old crowns, fillings, dentures and mouth guards as early as possible in the stages of PD.
- Consider the use of Nitrous Oxide-Oxygen sedation in the office. This is a great, safe way for all patients to be completely relaxed and in control. It also stops the gag reflex and is completely reversible at the end of the procedure.
Dr. Mitchell Josephs practices Implant, Cosmetic and General Dentistry with an emphasis on implants, porcelain veneers, and complex crown and bridge treatment. He is on staff at JFK Medical Center and is a Faculty Advisory Board member at McGill University’s Faculty of Dentistry. He completed his residency at Manhattan’s Beth Israel Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Hospital.