People with Parkinson disease experience a lower oral health quality of life than people without the disease according to a study in the Netherlands to be published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation. Oral health quality of life is defined as “a multidimensional construct that reflects factors such as people’s comfort when eating, sleeping, and engaging in social interaction; their self-esteem; and their satisfaction with respect to their oral health.”

The authors collected data between June 2020 and June 2021 using a 3-part electronic questionnaire. The study included 411 historical controls and 341 people with Parkinson disease, all between ages 18 and 75.

The researchers wrote that participants with Parkinson disease reported a worse oral environment, which includes oral facial pain, than the control group. They also reported greater tooth wear (tooth and dental tissue loss) and a higher prevalence of burning mouth syndrome.


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The authors note that the limited sample size and self-report nature of the study may have affected the data. The researchers also did not have complete data on gender due to technical difficulties. In addition, information from the historical controls was taken before the pandemic, while the Parkinson disease patients completed the survey in the middle of the crisis.

“Although problems concerning oral health are probably subordinate to other problems present in PD patients, this article suggests that the OHRQoL (oral health-related quality of life) may be impaired in patients with PD,” the authors conclude. “By being aware of this, dentists may be more alert and thus improve PD patients’ oral health to prevent further deterioration of their OHRQoL.”

Disclosure: Some study author(s) declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures. 

Reference

Verhoeff MC, Lobbezoo F, van Leeuwen AM, Schuller AA, Koutris M. Oral health-related quality of life in patients with Parkinson disease. J Oral Rehabil. 2022;10.1111/joor.13304. doi:10.1111/joor.13304