Myasthenia Gravis and oral health
Myasthenia Gravis is a disease which affects the muscles of the body and the nerves controlling the muscles. With this disease the muscles become weak and fatigued. Only the voluntary muscles of the body are affected by the condition and the involuntary muscles are not usually affected. Voluntary muscles imply the muscles which perform under the control of the individual, while the involuntary muscles are those which perform unconsciously, for instance, the muscles involved with the heart and other organs.
Myasthenia Gravis can seriously affect the oral health of the individual. The reason is that the muscles of the face become weakened by the condition, and are therefore difficult to control. Hence, cleaning of the teeth and gums, and going through dental treatments becomes a challenging task for such patients. Eventually, the oral health of such patients starts to deteriorate.
The individual suffering from myasthenia gravis also experiences great difficulty when eating food because the muscles quickly become stressed and tired due to the chewing and swallowing. Finishing the meal becomes a task which is hard. This also causes more unwanted food particles to stay in the mouth after the meal is eaten because the muscles of the oral cavity are not able to chew and swallow the food completely. These food particles can cause plaque. Plaque on the teeth can cause numerous diseases of the teeth and gums.
Individuals suffering from myasthenia gravis should use an electronic toothbrush, so that their facial muscles are not stressed by brushing the teeth. This makes the task much easier for such patients and they can ensure good oral health.
An additional difficulty of myasthenia gravis is control of the tongue while brushing, flossing and dental treatments. The muscles which control the tongue make involuntary movements which makes the task of cleaning the oral cavity and any other dental treatment very tricky. Due to the weakness of the muscles, dentures cannot be fixed properly in the oral cavity. The dentures become loose easily and do not stay in place.
People suffering from the condition need special attention to maintain hygiene of their oral cavity. Their carers should ensure that the sufferers oral cavity is completely clean and the bacteria and plaque in their mouth is removed regularly, as much as possible.