Oral Health and Parkinson's Disease

People with PD may be more likely to experience oral or dental changes, and Parkinson’s can bring challenges to caring for your teeth and visiting the dentist.  These resources explain what to monitor and inform your dentist and medical team about, with tips for dental and denture care at home, as well as how to improve dental visits.

Downloadable Documents | Online Articles | Podcasts & Webinars | Expert-level Resources

Downloadable Documents

Dental Health in PD

Published by the Parkinson's Foundation, 2018

This two-page fact sheet discusses physical and behavioral barriers to good dental care for those with PD.  It reminds readers that it is easier (and cheaper!) to prevent problems than to fix them, and offers suggestions for good home dental care as well as how to improve dental visits.




Mouth and Dental Issues in Parkinson's

Published by the European Parkinson's Disease Association, September 2018

This 10-page booklet (PDF) sumarizes mouth and dental issues common in people with Parkinson’s, including do's and don'ts, information about visiting the dentist, tips for people with natural teeth or dentures, and general tips for good mouth health and avoiding tooth decay.




Oral Health and Parkinson's Disease

Published by the American Parkinson Disease Association, 2018

This two-page fact sheet (PDF) sumarizes common oral and dental problems with PD, including oral motor impairment, salivary dysfunction, excessive salivation, dry moutn, burning mouth and altered taste, difficulty with dentures, increased tooth decay and gum disease, and tips for preventing tooth decay and improving oral hygiene.




Online Articles

Ask the MD: Dental Care and Parkinson’s

Published by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, January 13, 2022

This short article summarizes how Parkinson's symptoms can impact dental health, Parkinson's medications that may cause dry mouth and ways to relieve dry mouth, ways to ease challenges around dental visits, and suggestions to help pay for dental care.




The Basics of Oral Health and Parkinson’s

Published by the Parkinson's Foundation, August 15, 2018

This summary of a Parkinson’s Foundation conference expert panel discussion discusses the four 'dreaded Ds' of oral health and how movement-related symptoms present a challenge in PD oral care. Also included are 11 tips that can help with oral health and swallowing problems.




Dental Health

Published by the Parkinson's Foundation

This webpage lists several PD-related dental challenges that should be monitored and treated to help prevent future complications, including the effect of immune-suppressing medications. Also shared are several tips for simplifying dental care at home, including denture care, and how to improve dental visits. Finally, options to help cover the cost of dental care are offered.




How do you manage people with Parkinson’s disease in the dental setting?

By Dr. Alison Dougall and Dr. Suham Alexander, Published by the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, CDA Oasis, July 2, 2015

A general dentist submitted a question about how to manage Parkinson's Disease in the clinical setting as PD progresses.  The printed answer, written for dentists, provides several suggestions for forming a treatment plan and the safest, most comfortable appointment experience for the patient.




The Importance of Oral Care in Parkinson’s Disease

By Heather Simpson and Lindsay Arena, Published by University of Florida Health, June 22, 2020

This article emphasizes that because poor oral hygiene results in increased harmful bacteria in oropharyngeal secretions, without a daily oral hygiene routine those who are experiencing dysphagia with PD may be at a higher risk of developing aspiration pneumonia, due to the increased potential for bacteria to enter the airway.




Mouth and Dental Issues in Parkinson's

Published by the European Parkinson's Disease Association

This webpage sumarizes mouth and dental issues common in people with Parkinson’s, including drooling, and offers information about visiting the dentist, dental surgery, and wearing dentures.




Teeth and Oral Health

Published by the European Parkinson's Disease Association

This webpage offers detailed information on how Parkinson's might affect teeth and oral health, medical professionals who can help with dental issues and oral hygiene, and how you can help yourself.




Tips on How to Maintain Dental Care & Oral Hygiene In Parkinson’s Patients

By Maria DeLeón, MD, Published by Defeat Parkinson's, March 4, 2014

This blog post by Maria DeLeón, MD, retired neurologist and person with young onset Parkinson's, provides both a professional and first-person perspective on dental care and Parkinson's, presenting problems, solutions, and recommendations for your best care, including tips for making dentist visits easier.




Understanding the impact of Parkinson’s disease on oral health

By Beverley Moorhouse, Published in Dental Nursing, July 4, 2021

This article explores the difficulties with oral health for those with PD and the impact PD has on the ability to maintain effective oral health.  It stresses the importance of good oral health, common dental issues for those with Parkinson’s disease, offers advice on how good oral hygiene can be obtained, and the importance of the care giver in supporting and maintaining good oral hygiene.




Ways of Better Ensuring Good Dental Care in Parkinson's Reviewed

By Marisa Wexler, Published in Parkinson's News Today, March 29, 2021

Researchers in Brazil conducted a review of published studies to better understand the relationship between Parkinson’s and oral health. This article is a summary of the paper, titled “Evidence-Based Recommendations for the Oral Health of Patients with Parkinson’s Disease,” published in Neurology and Therapy, March 2021.




Why is Dental Health so Important in Parkinson's?

Published by the Davis Phinney Foundation

This webpage provides an overview of dental issues that can worsen Parkinson's symptoms and motor control issues that can make dental care at home more challenging. Links to information on how to address these issues and improve home dental care, an education sheet for dentists about PD and how to make dental appointments more comfortable are included.




Podcasts & Webinars

Dental Hygiene and Dental Problems in Parkison's Disease

By NeuroSurgical.TV

In this 10-minute video movement disorder specialist Abdul Rana, MD, explains how dental hygiene becomes a health issue for those with parkinsonism disorders due to a variety of factors including tremors, poor muscular co-ordination, and excess saliva and drooling. He offers several suggestions for dental care at home and with the assistance of a neurologist and dentist.




Maintaining & Promoting Oral Health

By Parkinson Social Network, June 2024

In this 50-minute webinar dentist Rick Jackomis, DDS, discusses the delivery and need for dental care as it pertains to patients with complex medical concerns and aging. Particular focus is on the complexity of care and management of Patients with Parkinson's Disease as they present with some unique challenges.




PD and Your Mouth: Preventative and Proactive Dental Care

By PMD Alliance, August 2, 2022

In this one-hour webinar dentists Sara Maltese, DMD, and Jose Gil, DMD, explore oral hygiene for people living with PD, including periodontal disease, cleaning removable dental appliances, tooth loss and replacement, and more. Also discussed is how to determine the best frequency of dental visits and the pros and cons of various oral health options.




What are Some Solutions to Dental Health Challenges in Parkinson's?

By the Davis Phinney Foundation, June 4, 2016

In this 98-second video movement disorder specialist Aaron Haug, MD, shares a couple reasons why people with PD have more dental health challenges and suggests three common sense solutions.




What's a Simple, Daily Oral Hygiene Plan for People with Parkinson's?

By the Davis Phinney Foundation

In this 11-minute video speech-language pathologist Kathleen Donohue walks you through what to do on a daily basis to keep your mouth (and you) healthy.




Expert-Level Resources

Evidence-Based Recommendations for the Oral Health of Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

Published in Parkinson's News Today, March 18, 2021, volume 10, pages 391–400 

Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) present a variety of oral disease that can be worsened by xerostomia (dry mouth) and sialorrhea (drooling). The patients’ physical limitations, for example rigidity and tremor, add to the difficulty of oral care by the general dental surgeon. The objective of the present review was to organize a list of evidence-based recommendations for the oral care of patients with PD.




Medical Management, Orofacial Findings, and Dental Care for the Patient with Parkinson’s Disease

Published by the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, 2021;87:l10

This comprehensive article reviews the symptoms and treatment options of Parkinson's disease before delving into the effects of PD on the orofacial complex, which may result in poor nutritional habits, exacerbating weight loss and contributing to a negative impact on physical, psychosocial and emotional health. It offers practical recommendations for the medical and dental management of patients with PD in accordance with the most recently published clinical practice guidelines.




Last updated August 2022 by Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach