Dental health of patients with Parkinson's disease in Iceland

Erna Rún Einarsdóttir, Hallfrídur Gunnsteinsdóttir, Margrét Huld Hallsdóttir, Sigurjón Sveinsson, Sonja Rut Jónsdóttir, Vilhelm Grétar Ólafsson, Thorvaldur Halldór Bragason, Sigurdur Rúnar Sæmundsson, William Peter Holbrook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The oral and dental health of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) has not been well documented and the findings are conflicting. Patients with PD were invited to take part in a clinical and radiographic examination together with a comparison control group of persons who were a spouse or family member. Subjects (n = 67) and controls (n = 55) were examined and compared. Subjects with PD had more missing teeth, caries, dental plaque, and poorer periodontal health. Counts of cariogenic bacteria in saliva were significantly higher for subjects with PD. They did not consume more sweets or sugar, did not brush less frequently, used dental floss more than controls, and visited the dentist at least as often. Salivary flow levels were comparable between subjects with PD and controls. The lack of muscular control may explain the poorer oral health of patients with PD. Dentists and patients with PD may be reluctant to embark on complex dental procedures, and this may explain the increased number of missing teeth in persons with PD in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-127
Number of pages5
JournalSpecial Care in Dentistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2009

Other keywords

  • Dental caries
  • Oral health
  • Parkinson 's disease
  • Periodontal disease
  • Special needs dentistry


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