Oral health is in a two-way relationship with overall health and some researchers believe that the oral cavity may become a valuable tool for diagnosis and prognosis in the near future (biomarkers).[i]

Oral health is not isolated from general health, rather, it is a critical component of overall health, well-being and quality of life. The oral cavity serves an initial entry point for colonization of the oral and gut microbiota and therefore is an easily accessed body site for assessment of the microbial community, and biologic markers used to diagnose, predict, and monitor both oral and systemic diseases.

Viruses have been found in the oral cavity, with their presence primarily viewed as a pathological nature and include such viruses as rotavirus, norovirus, HIV, hepatitis C virus, herpes simplex viruses 1 (HSV1) and HSV2, Epstein–Barr virus and influenza viruses. [ii]

For healthy adults, an individual’s oral microbiome is associated with many factors, including the time of the sample collection, age, gender, diet, and extreme environment. Host and environmental factors that affect the oral cavity begin in infancy and continue throughout one’s lifetime in sickness and in health.

Parkinson’s is characterized by a wide range of motor and nonmotor symptoms that include oral-facial manifestations reflecting sensory motor changes, which often occur before motor symptoms. Sialorrhea (drooling) speech and swallowing changes, and hypomimia (reduced facial expression) are common non-motor symptoms of PD.

Loss of smell/taste is one of the 5 most prevalent symptoms in early PD (<6 years) and drooling is one of the 5 most prevalent complaints in late PD (≥6 years).[iii]

Poorly cleaned teeth and dentures facilitate biofilm accumulation, making them a reservoir for respiratory pathogens and encouraging opportunistic oral and systemic infections. Particularly if a patient has dysphagia (swallowing problem) which includes aspiration (food or liquid entering the airway) contamination of the lungs can result in an aspiration pneumonia.

Oral and dental “problems caused by PD are accentuated by physicians’ lack of dental knowledge and dentists’ lack of awareness of many of the oral implications of PD”[iv]. Speech-language pathologist who treat impairments in speech and swallowing related to Parkinson’s can provide important education to patients about these risks, and can also serve as a conduit between patients and other members of the healthcare team.

[i] Oral Health Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease: More than Meets the Eye Manon Auffreta∗ et al. Behavior & Basal Ganglia Research Unit (EA 4712), University of Rennes 1, Rennes, France Institut des Neurosciences Cliniques de Rennes (INCR), Rennes, France.  Journal of Parkinson’s Disease 11 (2021) 1507–1535 DOI 10.3233/JPD-212605

[ii] Oral microbiome: possible harbinger for children’s health. Jin Xiao, Kevin A. Fiscella, and Steven R. Gill. International Journal of Oral Science. www.nature.com/ijos.

[iii] Politis M,Wu K, Molloy S, G Bain P, Chaudhuri KR, Piccini P (2010) Parkinson’s disease symptoms: The patient’s perspective. Mov Disord 25, 1646-1651

[iv] Jolly DE, Paulson RB, Paulson GW, Pike JA (1989) Parkinson’s disease: A review and recommendations for dental management. Spec Care Dentist 9, 74-78.

Join Dr. Gil, SW Florida Neurologist, Mary Spremulli,CCC-SLP

and Michael Davidson, PWP for Parkinson Awareness Month

      Interview on Gulf Coast Life WGCU PBS and NPR Radio            

Host Mike Kiniry, Listen Live Tuesday April 5, 2022 * at 1:00 and 10:00 pm ET.     

Listen here: https://news.wgcu.org/gulf-coast-life


          2022 Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month Symposium 

        Port Charlotte, Florida *  Friday April 22, 2022 11:30-5:30

 Parkinson’s TV Watch the Preview Here

ParkinsonTV is an educational series birthed in 2017 by a partnership between neurologist Dr. Bas Bloem and the University of Rochester’s Center for Health + Technology. The content is dedicated to highlighting the reality of living with Parkinson disease. Seasons 1-2 covered core topics that affect physical and mental health and quality of life. Sponsored by pharmaceutical company Roche, Season 3 discusses the ways in which we can end the disease through prevention, advocacy, care, and treatment.

My Mission: To enlist individuals in their treatment, and help them express their personality & spirit through voice. To educate  and empower. Mary Spremulli, MA, CCC-SLP * FiTOUR® Group Exercise Instructor * Voice Aerobics® A Whole Body Approach to Voice Practice

Voice Aerobics the heART and Science of Voice Practice