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Substantial Matters: Life & Science of Parkinson’s

Mar 14, 2019

Everyone should practice good oral health care, but it is particularly critical for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Unfortunately, at the time of diagnosis, many people do not receive information about oral health problems that may arise later in the disease. Parkinson’s symptoms can complicate oral care at home and dental professionals need to be aware of their patient’s PD so that they can provide appropriate care at frequent intervals. In this podcast, Cameron Jeter of the dental school at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston describes what she calls the “Dreaded D’s” – dry mouth, drooling, dysphagia or swallowing difficulties, and deadly bacteria. Beyond discomfort and inconvenience, these problems can affect a person’s quality of life and can even present a risk to their life, for example, through choking or inhaling bacteria that can lead to pneumonia. Dr. Jeter offers some helpful suggestions to maintain oral care and avoid problems.