Health
January 26, 2020
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
Are glasses enough? Spotting common vision problems in older adults Aging gracefully Kids who grind their teeth at night Still time to change your Medicare health plan When hard things happen New Year, new you: Practicing active aging in 2020 The spirit of Alzheimer’s learning Part II When we’re haunted by regret, we all have regrets. Halloween pirate’s gold Fall risks are sometimes simple, yet fatal Is multi-generational living for you? What family caregivers need to know about Medicare changes Natural disaster threats call for preparedness plan to protect seniors The spirit of Alzheimer’s learning  Winter sun safety: What to know about protecting yourself during colder months Tending to spiritual distress with aging and illness Blood pressure control a focus of American Heart month Home your own way March is colorectal cancer awareness month Safety at home for seniors Prepareness plan to protect seniors Conscious Sedation Dentistry– No fear! How to prevent bad breath War on opioids in California Help families make time for seniors during the holiday season Helping seniors with vision and hearing impairments Holiday stress-busters for harried caregivers It’s what’s inside that counts! Dental emergencies Don’t wait until it hurts! Does spring mean allergy season for you? Top 10 products to help seniors stay home How to take Tylenol safely The role companionship plays in aging 7 Tips to reduce the stress of incontinence caregiving Five best pet types for seniors Time for the yearly flu vaccine The state of Alzheimer’s and caregiving in the U.S. Reduce senior fall risk Improving the state of aging in America Fight flu this season by getting immunized Confirm your preparedness plans for Seniors Did you get your flu shot? If not why not? A message from the heart Using anxiety to your advantage Youth, women and dementia The long-reaching impact of dementia Children’s dental health month Ten tips for healthy aging Planning for aging at home Thirty-four years as a dentist Tooth friendly Easter tips Feeding my hungry heart How to keep older adults cool during the heat of the day Invisible braces work wonders Prosthetic joints and dentistry Avoiding spooky smiles this Halloween How to keep an aging adult’s blood pressure in the green zone Mother's gum disease linked to infant’s death Giving thanks The increasingly important role of caregivers Some good news! Senate passes Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding October’s most celebrated event Our Feelings Come From Our Beliefs Making sense of the season for seniors Cultures differ on what makes a beautiful smile! How to have a better year Falling in love is easy, but staying in love is very special A confession Women in dentistry Plan for where you want to age Three ways a senior can fund a home remodel Cannabis as medicine-Changing the face of aging May is skin cancer awareness month A brain is a reason to join the Alzheimer’s fight Recognizing and reporting elder abuse Dental technology- computers have changed our lives Create your personal Medicare account Understanding the aging brain Two ways to get your Medicare taken care of Are you stressed out? Seven ways seniors can interact with pets The joy of root canal therapy Lung cancer screening helps combat the #1 cancer killer in the nation Simple happiness hacks for caregivers Seniors and Diabetes What you need to know Let’s talk about guilt and the emotional journey of being a caregiver How to know if you are in danger of compression fractures Psychology Today The Art of Resilience: I Have I Am…I Can The advantage of dental implants Too much of a good thing for seniors and the holidays What families’ caregivers need to know about Recommendations for screen time Resolutions for your oral health Super Bowl, Joe Montana and blood pressure Open heart surgery – Thoughts from the other side Chewing gum - Helpful or harmful? Five tips for a healthy smile I will– I should– I can– I’ll try Rightsizing for seniors doesn’t have to be painful The Joy of Sadness Human Touch: The role companionship plays in aging at home Becoming who we really want to be How to fail well Back to school with healthy teeth Five ways to manage caregiver guilt Senior dating – Mom’s new relationship is heating up... Should you be concerned? Aspirin relieves mild pain Fighting osteoporosis and preventing fall-related injuries Pets and seniors make the perfect pair Turn the page Anxiety: The real reason Mom won’t leave the house My prostate and thyroid cancer Oral piercings and your teeth Understanding senior care options Staying well and safe for the holidays Health habits for the new year Un-retiring in a changing economy Coping with the unpredictable life of caregiving Double duty tools: toothbrush and floss Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Tips for living with low vision  Keep your Medicare costs down The freedom and choice to again place at home Put dementia on the agenda for 2019 Free app shows what Medicare covers The reason “Four” is the magic number? Preventing tooth decay in children Laughter is the best medicine Sports mouth guards-keeping teeth safe  Help your senior loved one avoid preventable hospitalizations Tips for keeping calm in the midst of crisis  Five cybersecurity tips for older adults Preparing kids for first dental visits Dental treatment concerns with patients taking blood thinners Home Health Care vs. In-Home Care: What you need to know Three ways to lessen negative thinking Five ways our self-talk may be hurtful Is this Summer or Fall What can you do to help dad control his blood pressure? By this time you have learned... whether you’re 14 or 84… Controlling your holidays Your Medicare costs in 2020 Mind your mind Hints for a better life Amazing results with Arestin Navigating the aging journey Smoke and stress maintenance and recovery How to lower your surgery costs Know your pharmacist… Know your medicine as drug prices will jump in 2019 Influenza activity is increasing throughout California Show your kids’ teeth some love this Valentine’s Day! New life and stormy weather Your Medicare rights and protections Summer snacking and your child’s teeth Back to basics 10 summertime activities for seniors Three ways to boost your self-esteem Increasing West Nile Virus activity in Ca. Why are seniors targets for scams? Summer’s sun damages the skin Abscess gives warning 8 tips to minimize the behaviors of “Sundowning” Keeping your relationships fresh What are dental sealants? Suicide - Are there answers? Nothing is impossible Becoming optimistic in a chaotic world Entitlements - more money Your best Christmas gift? Suicide a growing epidemic Healthy eating habits can benefit you and your teeth How does the body heal? Apply or renew Covered Ca. Health insurance by Jan. 15 Guilt from holiday eating Toothbrush tips Three reasons for a root canal Seniors: Say no to “free” genetic tests Yoga for relaxation & healing What causes sensitive teeth to hurt All of us make mistakes  Heat and older adults Five tips to cope with caregiver anger Back to school health Real decisions and moderation Three gifts you can give yourself Don’t stress, clench or grind! Gratitude and positivity can inspire caregiver self-care Medicare helps seniors use opioids safely Is it elder abuse or neglect? Dental scanning technology improves dental care Using Medicare when on foreign land I slept in last Saturday! Always being bright may not be so bright Trying to save a knocked out permanent tooth What happens to our teeth and gums as we age? Reduce wear and tear As Autumn begins, a reminder flu season can hit seniors hard Overcoming fears surrounding End-of-Life care Important: women and periodontal health Americans unaware of potentially life-threatening skin cancer Sun protection tips for young children Cannabis symposium Sept. 19th The importance of immunization Returning home is bittersweet Osteoporosis, osteonecrosis and dental health Living with Lupus Erythematosus How dentistry handles gastric reflux disease Use it or lose it- Muscle mass as you age  A free cheek swab test Twice a victim Finding a path forward after an accident Use it or lose it- Muscle mass as you age  If it is not broken, don’t fix it! Managing your mental health with or without insurance coverage Why gardening is the most recommended exercise for seniors

Multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease

By: George Malkemus
December 13, 2019

Multiple sclerosis (commonly abbreviated to MS) is a chronic, progressive disorder that affects the nerves in the brain, spinal cord and other parts of the central nervous system.  MS is an autoimmune disease, wherein the body’s immune system attacks its own central nervous system. MS gradually destroys nerve cells’ ability to control muscle movement and brain function. The effects can range from minor tingling in the hands and feet to abnormal muscle fatigue, tremors, slurred speech, impaired vision and even paralysis.

MS affects over one million people in the United States and estimated to affect 2.5 million people worldwide. Multiple sclerosis affects two to three times as many women as men.

Treatment

Though there is no cure, MS is rarely fatal. Treatments for MS attempt to lessen and prevent attacks, as well as return health after an attack.  There are many variations to the disease, so the prognosis is difficult to predict. But usually patients can live healthy, active lives well into their 70s or longer, particularly if they take good care of themselves.  

Many patients can significantly reduce the effects of MS by avoiding obesity, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking, reducing stress and eating a healthy diet. A physical or occupational therapist can teach stretching and strengthening exercises and show how to use devices that can make it easier to perform daily tasks. Treatment involves various medications, which vary from treating MS attacks, slowing the progress of the disease and treating MS symptoms. Some people have such mild symptoms that no treatment is necessary.

Symptoms

The person with MS can suffer almost any neurological symptom or sign, including changes in sensation, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, muscle stiffness or difficulty in moving, difficulties with coordination and balance, problems in speech or swallowing, visual problems, fatigue, acute or chronic pain and bladder and bowel difficulties. Cognitive impairment of varying degrees and emotional symptoms of depression or unstable mood are also common. Vision problems may include blurred vision, double vision, involuntary eye movements, temporary loss of sight and eye pain.

Fatigue may be worse at certain times of day and interfere with daily activities. Muscle weakness may include clumsiness, dropping things, inability to pick up or hold something, or dragging a leg when walking. Poor balance may include changes in the way one walks, dizziness, bobbing from side-to-side when walking. Bowel and bladder problems may include inability to hold urine or bowels, or inability to fully empty bladder or bowels.

Oral health

The loss of muscle control makes it harder for the MS patients to brush and floss their teeth.  More frequent dental cleanings and examinations are recommended.  An electric toothbrush can help improve brushing and a stick type flosser can make flossing easier. Patients with severe multiple sclerosis symptoms may require the assistance of another person to clean their teeth, usually a trained family member or a caregiver. In this case, the caregiver should consult with the patient’s hygienist or dentist to find the best possible methods that will help the patient maintain good oral hygiene.

Dental comfort

Stress has been correlated with increased symptoms of MS.  Therefore, it is important to keep dental treatment as comfortable as possible.  Short appointments are recommended.  Often frequent breaks are needed during dental treatment. Usually early morning appointments are best to reduce stress. The use of nitrous oxide can help MS patients relax.  Listening to music with headphones can make a more pleasing visit, blocking the sound of the drill and suction. To reduce patients discomfort it is recommended that the dental chair have cushioned pads. Pads will avoid pressure sores and will make the patient feel more comfortable during the appointment.  Also, various, head, neck and leg pillows can help support the body in a comfortable position. 

Using conscious sedation is often needed with more advance cases of multiple sclerosis.  This includes MS patients with dental phobias, needing longer involved treatments, difficulty relaxing in the dental chair, difficulty opening for long periods, or experiencing uncontrollable muscle movement of the face. In the latter stages of the disease, the respiratory muscles can be affected, so sedation has to be monitored closely.

Dental treatment

Multiple sclerosis could partially or totally paralyze a patient’s face, making dental treatment difficult. MS patients have reported temporary numbness in their teeth, checks, jaw or lips. Some MS patients can experience difficulties swallowing, decreased amount of saliva or difficulties of proper use of the tongue. Also, involuntary movements of the muscles of the tongue, jaw and face can make treatment challenging. 

The use of dental aids that keep the mouth opened and the cheek and tongue retracted are helpful, such as, bite block, rubber dam, or Isolite.  The Isolite is a new, comfortable technology that is particularly helpful, acting as a light, suction, retractor and bite block in one unit.

People suffering from multiple sclerosis are not advised to wear dentures.  Due to uncontrollable muscle spasms, dentures are often accidentally dislodged.  This leads to embarrassment, discomfort, tissue sores and difficulty chewing.   However, all other dental treatments are recommended, including implants.  

Correlation between MS and periodontal disease 

Periodontal disease, gum disease, is marked by bacterial overgrowth. However, a persistent immune response to chronic infections in the mouth is believed to play a major role in gum destruction. Autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus and CREST syndrome have been associated with a higher incidence of periodontal disease.   Gum disease is also found to increase the symptoms of MS.  

Many theories have been proposed for the cause of multiple sclerosis, and the cause is still in investigation.  One theory proposes that oral spirochete bacteria found in periodontal disease cause MS.  Spirochetes, similar to those found in dental plaque, have been found in the brains of autopsied MS patients.  Future study is needed.  Even so, the importance of good gum health is extremely important for overall health. Multiple sclerosis patients require continual dental monitoring.  With reduced salivary flow and increased difficultly cleaning their gums and teeth, decay and gum disease can become rampant.   Catching dental problems early allows short, comfortable appointments, as well as, reduced cost.

ENJOY LIFE AND KEEP SMILING!

George Malkemus has a Family and Cosmetic Dental Practice in Rohnert Park at 2 Padre Parkway, Suite 200. Call 585-8595, or email info@ malkemusdds.com.  Visit Dr. Malkemus’ Web site at http://www.malkemusdds.com

MS affects over one million people in the United States and estimated to affect 2.5 million people worldwide. Multiple sclerosis affects two to three times as many women as men.

Treatment

Though there is no cure, MS is rarely fatal. Treatments for MS attempt to lessen and prevent attacks, as well as return health after an attack.  There are many variations to the disease, so the prognosis is difficult to predict. But usually patients can live healthy, active lives well into their 70s or longer, particularly if they take good care of themselves.  

Many patients can significantly reduce the effects of MS by avoiding obesity, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking, reducing stress and eating a healthy diet. A physical or occupational therapist can teach stretching and strengthening exercises and show how to use devices that can make it easier to perform daily tasks. Treatment involves various medications, which vary from treating MS attacks, slowing the progress of the disease and treating MS symptoms. Some people have such mild symptoms that no treatment is necessary.

Symptoms

The person with MS can suffer almost any neurological symptom or sign, including changes in sensation, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, muscle stiffness or difficulty in moving, difficulties with coordination and balance, problems in speech or swallowing, visual problems, fatigue, acute or chronic pain and bladder and bowel difficulties. Cognitive impairment of varying degrees and emotional symptoms of depression or unstable mood are also common. Vision problems may include blurred vision, double vision, involuntary eye movements, temporary loss of sight and eye pain.

Fatigue may be worse at certain times of day and interfere with daily activities. Muscle weakness may include clumsiness, dropping things, inability to pick up or hold something, or dragging a leg when walking. Poor balance may include changes in the way one walks, dizziness, bobbing from side-to-side when walking. Bowel and bladder problems may include inability to hold urine or bowels, or inability to fully empty bladder or bowels.

Oral health

The loss of muscle control makes it harder for the MS patients to brush and floss their teeth.  More frequent dental cleanings and examinations are recommended.  An electric toothbrush can help improve brushing and a stick type flosser can make flossing easier. Patients with severe multiple sclerosis symptoms may require the assistance of another person to clean their teeth, usually a trained family member or a caregiver. In this case, the caregiver should consult with the patient’s hygienist or dentist to find the best possible methods that will help the patient maintain good oral hygiene.

Dental comfort

Stress has been correlated with increased symptoms of MS.  Therefore, it is important to keep dental treatment as comfortable as possible.  Short appointments are recommended.  Often frequent breaks are needed during dental treatment. Usually early morning appointments are best to reduce stress. The use of nitrous oxide can help MS patients relax.  Listening to music with headphones can make a more pleasing visit, blocking the sound of the drill and suction. To reduce patients discomfort it is recommended that the dental chair have cushioned pads. Pads will avoid pressure sores and will make the patient feel more comfortable during the appointment.  Also, various, head, neck and leg pillows can help support the body in a comfortable position. 

Using conscious sedation is often needed with more advance cases of multiple sclerosis.  This includes MS patients with dental phobias, needing longer involved treatments, difficulty relaxing in the dental chair, difficulty opening for long periods, or experiencing uncontrollable muscle movement of the face. In the latter stages of the disease, the respiratory muscles can be affected, so sedation has to be monitored closely.

Dental treatment

Multiple sclerosis could partially or totally paralyze a patient’s face, making dental treatment difficult. MS patients have reported temporary numbness in their teeth, checks, jaw or lips. Some MS patients can experience difficulties swallowing, decreased amount of saliva or difficulties of proper use of the tongue. Also, involuntary movements of the muscles of the tongue, jaw and face can make treatment challenging. 

The use of dental aids that keep the mouth opened and the cheek and tongue retracted are helpful, such as, bite block, rubber dam, or Isolite.  The Isolite is a new, comfortable technology that is particularly helpful, acting as a light, suction, retractor and bite block in one unit.

People suffering from multiple sclerosis are not advised to wear dentures.  Due to uncontrollable muscle spasms, dentures are often accidentally dislodged.  This leads to embarrassment, discomfort, tissue sores and difficulty chewing.   However, all other dental treatments are recommended, including implants.  

Correlation between MS and periodontal disease 

Periodontal disease, gum disease, is marked by bacterial overgrowth. However, a persistent immune response to chronic infections in the mouth is believed to play a major role in gum destruction. Autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus and CREST syndrome have been associated with a higher incidence of periodontal disease.   Gum disease is also found to increase the symptoms of MS.  

Many theories have been proposed for the cause of multiple sclerosis, and the cause is still in investigation.  One theory proposes that oral spirochete bacteria found in periodontal disease cause MS.  Spirochetes, similar to those found in dental plaque, have been found in the brains of autopsied MS patients.  Future study is needed.  Even so, the importance of good gum health is extremely important for overall health. Multiple sclerosis patients require continual dental monitoring.  With reduced salivary flow and increased difficultly cleaning their gums and teeth, decay and gum disease can become rampant.   Catching dental problems early allows short, comfortable appointments, as well as, reduced cost.

ENJOY LIFE AND KEEP SMILING!

George Malkemus has a Family and Cosmetic Dental Practice in Rohnert Park at 2 Padre Parkway, Suite 200. Call 585-8595, or email info@ malkemusdds.com.  Visit Dr. Malkemus’ Web site at http://www.malkemusdds.com