A visit to the dentist and an overactive bladder

A visit to the dentist, not good for an overactive bladder

A visit to the dentist, not good for an overactive bladder

Too many multiple sclerosis sufferers have an overactive bladder. The chances are that you will have a prescription for ‘anti-cholinergic’ drugs. These drugs stop the bladder going into spasm and that’s a good thing. Sadly there is no such thing as a free dinner, these drugs have several side effects. I had a dental appointment and the dental hygienist was worried about the side effect of the ‘anti-cholinergic’ drug that makes my mouth dry.

Your bladder

The bladder is a ball of muscle that expands as urine is passed into it from the kidneys. It can hold between 400 ml to 800 ml of urine, but will vary from person to person. When a person has a pee the detrusitor muscles surrounding the bladder contracts and at the same time the sphincters relax. This coordination or lack of it is the problem for so many multiple sclerosis sufferers.

Jacobs cream cracker

‘Anti-cholinergic’ drugs reduce the chances of the bladder having a spasm, or unexpectedly contracting. None of us want the bladder to have an unexpected spasm. The drugs also affect the saliva glands, inhibit saliva production.

Have you ever tried to talk to someone with a dry mouth? Even harder, eat a Jacobs cream cracker. Obvious isan’t it?

‘Anti-cholinergic’ drugs

Anticholinergic drugs can help overactive bladders

Anticholinergic drugs can help overactive bladders

Drugs typically prescribed to multiple  sclerosis sufferers with bladder problems are tolterodene and oxybutalin. They do have a different product name. To put it very simply the messages that start bladder contractions are blocked. This reduces the frequency someone needs to empty their bladder. One of the drawbacks is the activity of the saliva glands is suppressed.

Saliva is quite useful

Saliva does a lot of little things, it starts digestion of food, keeps the mouth moist and helps to keep the teeth clean. This is where my dental hygienist comes back into the story. Without saliva bits of food stay on the gums and teeth causing infection. She said that brushing your teeth twice a day is not really enough. You need to use mouthwash, it tastes vile but its good for the teeth. It clears out plaque and helps to protect the enamel of teeth. Also the inter dental brushes will help as well.

And finally

So to cut a long story short my hygenist was very pleased with the state of my gums and teeth but she still charged me £ 30. Only goes to show that there is no such thing as a free supper.

December 2013

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