The Dental Implications of Epilepsy
While the subject of dental health should concern everyone, it is of particular importance to the 3 million Americans who suffer from epilepsy, which is the third most common neurological disorder in the United States. About as many people have Epilepsy as have cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinsonâ€™s disease â€“ Combined.
Epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder resulting in recurrent, unprovoked seizures. Both seizures and anti seizure medications can cause devastating effects to the oral health of a person with epilepsy. Besides chipped and broken teeth, aspiration of a tooth or a broken jaw that can occur during a fall due to a seizure, anti-seizure medications can cause irritated and bleeding gums, post-operative bleeding, overgrown and swollen gums, dry mouth and the susceptibility to periodontal disease and oral infections such as canker sores and lesions.
To help prevent dental issues from occurring, it is recommended that people who suffer from epilepsy follow a suitable dental care program worked out with a Gentle Dental dentist. This program should include dental checkups and cleanings every 6 months. Proper daily dental care including brushing and flossing can help prevent bacteria buildup, that causes some of the issues brought on by the anti seizure medications. You should always make your Gentle Dental dentist aware of the type of medication prescribed, including dosage levels and any experiences of side effects.Â
The help ensure a safe and effective dental visit, please make sure any anti-seizure medication is taken a few hours prior to your appointment. You should also inform your dentist of your complete medical history, including your seizure history. Always tell a dental team member if you are experiencing an aura. Whenever possible, have someone you trust accompany you to your dental appointment.
To learn more about this disorder or to get information on how you can help make a difference by joining one of EFOF’s Walks or donating, please visit EpilepsyFLA.org or call 877-55-EPILEPSY (877-553-7453).