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Dental Care

Dental hygiene may not be the first thing that springs to mind when researching Gastroparesis. However, it can become a real issue for anyone with restricted oral intake and/or regular vomiting. Here are a few tips we have picked up along the way.

 

Dentist:

If you are not registered with a dentist, contact your NHS England Area team, they will be able to tell you which dentist in your area currently accepts patients. Alternatively you can call 111 for emergency dental cover.

Brushing:

Obviously cleaning your teeth effectively after vomiting is very important, however, overbrushing can be just as harmful as not brushing when it comes to enamel erosion. The presence of acid followed by friction can be a very abrasive process so we suggest limiting this to 2/3 times a day. 

Ask your dentist for prescription strength fluoride toothpaste (ie Duraphat) as it provides greater protection than off the shelf brands. It also foams less for those who struggle to brush without gagging. 

 

Mouthwash:

We recommend using mouthwash after vomiting as an alternative to brushing. Again, opt for the better brands such as Corsodyl. This will neutralise any acid and freshen your mouth without all the abrasive scrubbing. 

Most mouthwashes are incredibly strong which can also be a problem for those who don't eat. Your taste buds become ultra sensitive and strong flavours can literally leave your mouth feeling like it's on fire so if this is you, then try the children's varieties (Aquafresh kids or similar).

 

Fluoride Varnish & Fissure Sealants:

Ask your dentist about the following options:

Fluoride varnish:

The process involves painting a varnish containing high levels of fluoride onto the surface of the tooth every six months to prevent decay. It works by strengthening tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay.

Fissure sealants:

This is where the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are covered with a special thin plastic coating to keep germs and food particles out of the grooves. The sealant can last for as long as 5 to 10 years.

Saliva:

Stimulating saliva production helps fight germs in your mouth and prevents bad breath. Saliva is mostly water but it also contains proteins and minerals that protect tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay and gum disease. 

You can try several things to help such as, chewing gum, sipping or rinsing with water regularly throughout the day or mouth sprays such as saliva orthana which stimulate saliva production (ask your dentist for further information).

Centres of Excellence

TPN - Total Parenteral Nutrition

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