For people with HD, it is especially important to be proactive in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. While people with HD are not more susceptible to decay and gum disease, the progression of HD may make dental treatment more challenging. Planning for these challenges, which include transportation problems, financial challenges due to loss of employment or dental insurance, and physical changes due to disease progression, can help insure good oral health is maintained.
What strategies should we take to promote good dental care?
Get teeth and gums healthy by using an electric toothbrush, prescription mouthwash, fluoride gel and regular checkups. If swishing is not possible there are other oral care items including a toothbrush capable of suction. For dentures a suction cupped nail brush allows a patient to use a stable hand to clean the denture also.
What is a Special Care Dentist?
It is General Dentistry with additional training on providing care to people who have active or complex medical issues. A special care dentist typically collects all the medical information and puts a comprehensive plan including coordinating with your healthcare providers. For example, someone with Huntington's disease may have dry mouth due to some medications. There are some ways to deal with dry mouth to prevent the challenges it presents.
Links to useful documents and presentations:
Presentation at the HD Reach support group meeting by Mary H Makhlouf DMD MS PA - May 18, 2017
Huntington’s Disease Association - 0151 331 5444 - www.hda.org.uk
*Information on oral health care for HD patients provided by Mary H Makhlouf DMD MS PA (www.Docmary.com)