Multiple Sclerosis Dental Implants

Multiple Sclerosis is a degenerative condition that affects the brain and spinal cord. The protective material that shields the nerve cells, called the myelin sheath, is affected by multiple sclerosis, which causes neural messages to be blocked, delayed, modified, or entirely shut off as they attempt to travel from the body to the brain. Symptoms that can arise from multiple sclerosis are widely varied and often include sensations of numbness or prickling in different areas of the body, diminished memory, compromised coordination and balance, and loss of muscle control. Multiple Sclerosis can eventually lead to paralysis, either full or partial. Although it cannot be cured, many patients report partial and complete remissions from multiple sclerosis. Clearly, multiple sclerosis can be associated with other issues, like injury that arises due to balance issues and conditions affected by hygiene, and treatment for these injuries and conditions can be complicated by the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Oral health is just one of the issues affected by multiple sclerosis.

Oral health issues are common in patients with multiple sclerosis, whose impaired muscle control can increase the difficulty of performing hygiene tasks including the oral hygiene tasks of brushing and flossing. As this lack of oral care continues, the risk of gum disease increases, and the likelihood of severe gum disease increases as well, gradually resulting in gum recession, tooth loss, and other health issues. When patients with multiple sclerosis experience tooth loss, dental implants are often the recommended treatment option. Many patients with missing teeth choose full or partial dentures, which are a complicated option for people with multiple sclerosis. Weakened muscles and loss of muscle control can create challenges for the fit and maintenance of removable dentures, and the dryness of the mouth that is associated with multiple sclerosis can make eating and talking while wearing dentures considerably more difficult. Spastic muscles, another common characteristic of multiple sclerosis, can create difficulties and even danger when removing and inserting dentures. Dental implants or implant-supported restorations pose none of these challenges and confer many benefits, including stability, comfort, and a natural feel and appearance.

It is important for patients who have multiple sclerosis to work with dental clinics that are familiar with, and sensitive to, the specific needs of patients with the condition. Extensive procedures like dental implants take a considerable amount of time, and properly equipped dentists can provide comfortable and pain-free options that meet the unique needs of patients with multiple sclerosis. Because patients with multiple sclerosis are more prone to fatigue and stress, and because fatigue and stress can often lead to spastic muscles, short appointments are preferable for these patients. When longer appointments can’t be avoided, the periodontist should schedule appointments that match the patient’s peak energy levels, and they should offer brief breaks periodically throughout the treatment; usually a few minutes every half hour provides enough respite for the procedure to continue, but the patient’s specific needs are taken into consideration as treatments scheduled.

Patients with multiple sclerosis can also be more prone to respiratory issues as the muscles weaken and become less adept at controlling the breath, and periodontists can angle their examination chairs at a comfortable angle for the patient to breathe easily while undergoing their procedure. They may also use a prop to hold the mouth open and relieve the patient’s jaw and muscle tension. Patients with multiple sclerosis may experience pain or discomfort without being able to pinpoint its source or location, and this can cause challenges in diagnosing oral or dental issues. The examination and evaluation that precede dental implant treatment should take this into consideration with a thorough and careful approach. When patients have side effects like numbness in the face or partial or full facial paralysis, this can affect the treatment approach and will be considered as the treatment is planned and implemented. If necessary, patients with multiple sclerosis may also seek dental offices that can accommodate wheelchairs.

Once dental implants have been placed, they must be cared for properly to ensure their success. This is particularly important in patients with multiple sclerosis, who may have decreased saliva and muscle control, leading to a proliferation of bacterial plaque and debris and a heightened risk of infection in the oral cavity and tooth decay. This risk increases with some medications that are commonly taken by patients with multiple sclerosis and that exacerbate dryness in the mouth, like certain muscle relaxants, immune suppressors, antidepressants, and some other drugs. Patients who experience difficulty brushing or flossing also face a higher risk of infection and decay, and periodontists and pharmacists can recommend or provide specialized and modified aids for flossing and brushing for patients with multiple sclerosis and dental implants. If it is an option to employ a caregiver, the caregiver can be called on for help with the oral hygiene routine.

Keeping gum disease at bay is one of the best ways to help prolong the life and effectiveness of dental implants. If gum disease does arise, the tissue that holds the dental implants in the mouth gradually degrades, causing the implants to loosen and eventually fall out and often leading to additional infection. As more bone degrades, more damage befalls the oral cavity. Dental implants can be a permanent and stable dental restoration that allows patients to eat a variety of healthy foods and maintain a balanced diet, which can be especially beneficial for patients with multiple sclerosis, but preventing gum disease is the optimal way to ensure the long-term success of dental implants. If you’re a patient with multiple sclerosis, talk to your periodontist about the possibility of dental implants, and work with your medical providers to help your implants provide you with years of satisfaction. Your dentist, periodontist, and primary care provider can work together to personalize a treatment plan that includes aftercare guidelines and recommendations that consider the fluctuations of conditions like multiple sclerosis. With the right planning and sufficient follow-through, dental implant treatment can be a manageable and effective option for patients with multiple sclerosis who are seeking to replace one or more missing teeth.

Natural Looking Dental Implant

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