Can Multiple Sclerosis affect your Dental Care?

oral hygiene

A diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis can answer a lot of challenging health questions if you’ve been struggling with symptoms. Be aware that an MS diagnosis can mean special challenges for your oral health as well as your overall physical strength.

MS and Dental Habits

For those who suffer from spastic movements or tremors the fine motor actions of dental care can be frustrating. When possible, switch to electronic cleaning tools that do most of the work for you. For example, a spinning or vibrating toothbrush can be easier to manage than manually moving the brush back and forth. Additionally, many electronic dental tools are heavier and offer more resistance to the hand. This can reduce the severity of your tremors.

If you suffer from severe fatigue, consider flossing in bed. Another option is to floss and brush directly after your last meal of the day so you can simply change clothes and go to bed when you’re tired. A final option is to ask a family member to assist you in these fine motor tasks. And for cases of emergencies, be sure to search for urgent dental care required in Vineland.

MS and Dental Risks

One of the chronic risks of MS is inflammation. You may find that your gums are inflamed no matter how thorough you are in your dental care at home. In these instances, do your best to keep your teeth clean at home and to make all of your dental appointments. An additional periodontal treatment that addresses film and plaque can reduce your symptoms.

If you are using any complementary or alternative medicines to reduce your MS symptoms, take care to let your dental team know. While these therapies shouldn’t impact your dental health, your dentist will want to know what products you’re taking to avoid any bad interactions.

Symptomatic Challenges to Successful Dental Treatment

One of the big challenges you may face is the inability to relax in the dentist chair. If you’re struggling with any spastic hand tremors or limpness, you may struggle to let the dentist know when you’re in trouble and need to sit up. Make sure and let your dentist know of these challenges and your concerns. If you have the ability to squeeze, as a dental assistant to sit nearby so you can squeeze their fingers if you’re in distress.

Your dental team should be able to schedule your appointment at a time when you can have extra time. Another option is to schedule two appointments with a break in the middle so you can sit up, stand, move, breathe, swallow, or do whatever you need to do. A final option is to ask to be put under for your appointment.

A big challenge for some MS sufferers is the ability to swallow effectively. The traditional position of the dentist chair, laying out flat on your back, can make it very easy to choke. Again, let your dental team know that your cleaning must be done with scaling tools. Make them aware that you have a hard time closing your throat efficiently, so you need to sit up for your cleanings. Be diligent about making your requirements known to avoid the risk of inhaling any water or cleaning product.

Enlist the Help of an Advocate

If you have a loved one who can join you for your dental appointments, do so. This person may be able to successfully communicate your concerns or even attend your appointments and monitor your condition. Additionally, if you have trouble swallowing and are required to lay back in the chair, you may unknowingly aspirate or inhale water, cleaning paste, or another product. You should be carefully monitored after your dental appointment as aspirating these products can lead to the risk of pneumonia over time.

You may find that you’re unable to spend a long time in the chair and stay comfortable. In these situations, an advocate can help you to stand, stretch, and prepare for the next part of your treatment.

If your dentist can’t make the accommodations you need for safe, effective care, you may need to seek out another dental team. In this case, your advocate can also help by helping you to be very clear about what you need that you’re not getting.

Work With A Specialist

A dentist who has particular experience with conditions that include spasticity can greatly reduce your worry and stress over your dental treatments. Schedule an appointment with dentist for MS patients in NYC to get the best possible treatment with the least amount of risk and discomfort.


Proper dental care is critical to everyone’s health, but especially important after an MS diagnosis. If your condition includes the inability to swallow effectively, poor dental health may lead to ineffective chewing and you may be at risk of choking at mealtimes. Do what it takes to find a dentist who can help you manage the health of your teeth and gums.