Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Multiple Sclerosis and Oral Health

Multiple sclerosis is a progressive, neurological, and degenerative disorder which affects the central nervous system.  It affects about 400,000 people in the US alone and  usually more women than men are affected and diagnosed between 20 years and 40 years of age.
There are several symptoms of MS that can interfere with adequate care of the teeth and gums. These are distinctive and typical for the illness: fatigue, spasticity, weakness, tremors, facial pain, numbness, tingling, and/or pain in the hands, all of which can challenge a person’s effort to brush and floss adequately. Patiens feel absorbed and preoccupied  in their effort to control the symtpoms  of MS and fail to  maintain good oral habits. Therefore the tendency of poor dental hygiene in patients diagnosed with MS is becoming more prominent.

The following tips can compensate for these problems:
  • use toothbrushes with built-up handles(or cut a small slit in the sides of a tennis ball and slide it onto the handle of the toothbrush);
  • use flossing tools; consider electric toothbrushes and flossing devices;
  • sit to brush and floss, if standing at the basin is tiring; 
  • floss in the morning if you are too tired at night; 
  • allow a family member or personal assistant to help with tooth brushing and flossing;
  • manage tremors by wearing a weighted glove while brushing.
Since some medications used to treat MS symptoms can cause dry mouth, it could be especially challenging  for affected patients to maintain proper dental health.
Here is how you can minimize the effects of dry mouth:

  •  sip water or sugarless drinks often;
  •  avoid caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol;
  •  use a small squirt of lemon in the mouth or sugarless lemon candies to stimulate the glands controlling saliva production;
  •  use a humidifier at night;
  •  use special products that are available in pharmacies to moisten dry mouth!

If you have any questions or concerns about this condition and the state of your dentition, please feel free to contact us at 212-689-0024 or email us at today.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Severe Gum Disease Can Instigate Joint Replacement Infections

Greetings from Dr. Pasch, Dr. Yam, Dr. Shirzadnia and Dr. Song!

We thought you should know: a thorough dental examination for presence of tooth and gum infection is recommended prior to joint replacement.

Periodontal disease is a commonly occurring oral infection of the adult population (80% of adults are affected) destroying the bony support of the teeth. This infection slowly progresses over the lifetime of the patient and is often manifested in the advanced stage in the senior population.

Because of the lack of any discomfort to the patient until total loss of bony support to the teeth, many adults are unaware that they have this infection. However, the bacteria from this bone destroying disease, especially in the more advanced cases, has been attributed to possible infection of joint replacements.

Candidates for joint replacements who have not been seen by a dentist in over a year should be considered for a thorough dental evaluation of their teeth and gums before surgery. Depending on the severity of the infection, treatment of gum infections and tooth abscesses may take from two weeks to two months before the patient reaches adequate health before surgery.

If you have questions regarding severe gum disease, please call our office at 212-689-0024 or email us at today.

Looking forward to meeting all of your dental needs,

Herald Square Dental
& The Denture Center