Does Epilepsy Affect Your Dental Health?
If you've recently been diagnosed with epilepsy, you might be wondering if your condition will affect your dental health. Although epilepsy doesn't directly have an impact on your teeth, there can be some circumstances where your teeth can be damaged as a result of the condition. This doesn't mean that your teeth will automatically become a problem site, but it's something you need to be aware of.
Damage During a Seizure
One of the key dental issues with epilepsy is the potential for damage incurred during a seizure. This can occur due to the uncontrollable nature of a seizure and the fact that your jaw might be tightly clenched during the episode. This means that you might be more susceptible to a number of issues:
- You could chip or even crack a tooth during a seizure.
- During particularly powerful seizures, you might destabilise a tooth from its socket.
- Tissue damage is also possible, due to inadvertently biting the internal lining of your cheeks during a seizure.
This does not mean that you need to visit a dentist after each seizure, although you should certainly do so if you notice that something is wrong, such as pain, discomfort, a visible chip or another form of damage to a tooth.
Epilepsy doesn't mean that you will encounter any major obstacles when seeking dental treatment, but additional considerations must be made. What does this involve?
Inform Your Dentist
Be sure that your dentist is aware of your condition. This can lead them to take additional precautions during your treatment session. One of the most important things they will need to know is the precise medication you have been prescribed, as they will need to be sure that it's suitable to be used in conjunction with any medication and/or anaesthetic that your dental treatment may require.
Triggers and Timing
Although each case of epilepsy has its own specific variations, you might also find that your seizures have direct triggers (circumstances or substances which can sometimes result in a seizure). Obviously, you should avoid these triggers as much as possible prior to your dental appointment. Additionally, it has been found that some epilepsy sufferers are more likely to experience a seizure at certain times of the day. Should this apply to you, even if you haven't been living with epilepsy for that long, you should avoid scheduling your dental appointment at a time of day when a seizure might be more likely.
Your epilepsy should not prevent you from enjoying a high standard of dental health, but it can create additional issues which need to be addressed with your dentist.