For those who care for someone with Parkinson's disease
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By Jane On 2012.04.16 18:40
My PWP has a serious problem with tooth decay. Every time he goes to the dentist a new cavity is found. The dentist says it is because of insufficient saliva in his mouth. When he was first diagnosed with Parkinson's, excessive saliva is what brought him to the doctors. I know that the lack of saliva is caused by his medication. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to deal with this side effect? We are not wealthy and the ongoing dental bill is becoming a problem.

By Pearly4 On 2012.04.17 13:23
My mother also had huge dental issues. She brushed, she rinsed, she used washes provided by physicians all to no avail. I wonder, though you say saliva issues drove him to the doctor, whether dental issues are common and due, yet again, to the disease itself and effects on the body.

Regardless, as I said we found nothing really helpful in my mothers fight. She continued to have issues until her death. We did however search out a dentist who worked with patients on a sliding income based scale. She received excellent treatment at a greatly reduced cost at least. She still required crowns, fillings, had teeth pulled, but at least it didn't cost us as much.

This dentist was finally located through local social services - both Aging Resources and her Medicaid social worker were able to provide the name. Apparently it wasn't a hidden secret, just something we weren't aware of and didn't find out about until we asked. Ask your present dentist whether there isn't such a service in your area -- might even prompt him to provide you some discounts himself!

By parkinit On 2012.04.18 20:39
My spouse just went to the doctor and had two teeth with signs of decay. He has been trying to drink more water. Making a conscious effort to drink at least 60 ounces a day, which he wasn't doing before. He said the thick phlegm which he previously had is better. I wonder if drinking more water would help?

By Pearly4 On 2012.04.18 21:49
Just occurred to me also - my mother was given an electric toothbrush but had no time to really test its effectiveness. I know I had purchased one for myself after a dental cleaning following a hand injury was not great and had a much better result the second time around. Perhaps because of reduced flexibility, etc., if you're not already using an electric toothbrush, you might want to try one for better cleaning?

By dear2 On 2012.05.08 01:00
My husband had 5 cavities filled 6 months ago, and now 2 crowns worked on tomorrow. He eats sweets and sugar in large quantities without brushing in between. We got mouth wash that the dentist recommended, and he has used an electric tooth brush for years. I pushing now to get him on a dental insurance plan. I will share the water consumption tip with him. Thanks for the ideas.

By Elly On 2012.05.10 17:18
My husband with parkinson's had a dental check up and root canal in 2010. Brought him back this spring for a check up to find out he needs three extractions, crowns, fillings you name it all to the tune of almost 13,000--way above our dental plan. Dentist and periodontist attribute it to the fact that he's having a hard time keeping everything properly cleaned and have recommended an electric tooth brush. who knows if that will work. bummer.

By LOHENGR1N On 2012.05.10 19:03
I know this doesn't "fix" Our problems or really contribute to solving anything but after reading threads like this one and some of the general dental advice that is given like brush often and floss etc. Do Our Dentists listen or for that matter know some of the effects of Parkinson's Disease that might cause issues? For example difficulty in swallowing leads to saliva pooling in our mouths or lack of saliva from medication side-effects, food is retained longer in our mouths also if we have trouble swallowing. Grinding of teeth from jaw tremor, medicine that can deplete calcium. Coordination of hands and arms to brush properly.

While it is easy for a Dental Practitioner to advise cut back on sweets and brush and floss regularly adding in Our combined issues it is all easier said than done. And speaking from experience having a Dentist preach at you like you are a child or moron is not conducive to looking forward to visits. I'm just venting here so please don't get too upset with this post but it is food for thought. If a dentist is going to lecture about dental hygiene to Us they had better damn well take into consideration the effects of our disease on such and not just assume we're not making effort to help ourselves. I'll get down off my soap box for now on this issue. Thanks for putting up with my occasional rants.

By karolinakitty On 2012.05.11 22:29
I second LO...Dentists need to be more aware than just flossing and brushing...

My guy recently had 7 teeth removed and other teeth filed due to the jaw tremors...a lot of his teeth were broken apart by the tremors, by the calcium deficiency, by the PD...we were lucky to find an oral surgeon who specializes in Neuro-degenerative diseases and neuro-muscular diseases... he was great... knew about the anesthesia issues....knew about pain pills and antibiotics....also referred us to a regular dentist who specializes also......I suggest trying to find a dentist who knows...if you can...if not...let them in on the deal.....the whole could help in the long run!!!!

By parkinit On 2012.05.12 11:58
I agree that lack of education is the issue with dealing with many of the PWP diseases, but did you know everything about the disease when you were introduced to it?

It seems that those of us that deal with PD on a daily basis have been commissioned with the task of educating everyone we meet about it. ER doctors, home health nurses, even our neurologists don't always know all the ins and outs like we who deal with it intimately, on a daily basis!! We have to be patient and kind and "educate" others. Some are interested and appreciate the "education," while others may be as tuned in as we are when they speak to the PWP like a child in the dentist office - with full on apathy.

I guess my point is that ignorance may be totally innocent (let's face it, it doesn't consume their lives like it does ours unless they have a loved one with PD) or it may be a choice (speak to the hand because the ears aren't listening) when we deal with the medical field and their understanding of PD.

By Elly On 2012.05.31 18:15
Just got back from an appointment with our new movement disorder specialist. He said drugs like Amantadine can be the culprit in tooth decay.

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