Importance of Oral Hygiene During ALS Awareness Month

Toronto, Ontario, June 5, 2015 – Princeview Dental (www.PrinceviewDental.com), one of Etobicoke’s premier dental clinics, is releasing an advisement on the importance of oral hygiene during ALS Awareness Month.

“Many patients with ALS may feel embarrassed about asking for assistance with oral hygiene,” says Dr. Janice Mummery, founder of Princeview Dental. “But as the disease progresses and they lose motor control, they will need help with brushing their teeth.”

According to Dr. Mummery, dental care is especially important for patients with ALS since gum disease can lead to a variety of health complications, including pneumonia. In addition to daily dental care and visiting the dentist once every six months or more frequently as required, Dr. Mummery recommends using a soft bristle electric toothbrush, which is ideal for people who have limited movement.

“The rotating head of an electric toothbrush will do most of the work—it provides a more thorough cleaning than a regular toothbrush and the soft bristles will be gentler on the gums. The handles are also a lot easier to grip on to compared to a regular toothbrush,” says Dr. Mummery. “For some ALS patients, or people with mobility issues, squeezing a toothpaste tube can be very difficult. I recommend investing in a hands-free toothpaste dispenser. It makes it easier to access the toothpaste and will prevent the patient from having to squeeze the toothpaste tube.”

Since some ALS patients who need help breathing require the use of a non-invasive ventilation device, keeping the mouth moist may prove to be difficult.

“When dry mouth occurs, I recommend an over-the-counter dry-mouth spray or a refreshing mouthwash to maintain a healthy flow of saliva,” adds Dr. Mummery.

Dr. Mummery also reminds patients that their medical history should be updated immediately following a diagnosis of ALS. It is advised that ALS patients attend a dental facility that accommodates patients with a disability or mobility issues, too.

“Princeview Dental offers fully accessible offices for patients with ALS and other mobility issues,” concludes Dr. Mummery.

Princeview Dental serves residents of Etobicoke. They have been treating patients, including those with mobility issues, in the Kingsway community for over 20 years. For more information, visit Princeview Dental’s web site at http://www.PrinceviewDental.com. For more information about ALS Awareness Month activities in your area, visit www.als.ca/en/news/awareness/june-als-awareness-month-0.

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