Receding gums

Hi All

Can anyone tell me if receding gums can be a result of or contected to MS?

My gums were slightly receding before I got MS but have receded a lot more since. I seem to have halted the progression now with extra gentle teeth cleaning and mouth wash.

I am going to the dentist tomorrow - first time for about 10 years (I hate going to the dentist) as I have toothache and I am wondering whether to tell the dentist I have MS and I’d like to know if the MS has affected my gums. At one of my first appointments with a neuro he asked me to “do this” and he grimaced showing me his teeth and gums so I did what he asked, but he never explained why he asked me to do that and I did not think to ask at the time.

All the best J.

P.S. It amused me that my dental appointment is at 2.30! :slight_smile:

Yes its important to tell the dentist as your swallow may be impaired when your head is back in the chair even if your not aware of it in everyday life.

Quite alot of the symptom relieving meds eg baclofen I think is one that they like to know about aswell.My dentist did tell me my teeth have deteriorated at the gum line and he thinks its because of an excessively dry mouth for hours at night thanks to the amitriptyline.

Hope the appt goes ok for you.


Hi J,

It wouldn’t surprise me of there was a connection somewhere along the line because I too seem to have a lot of dental problems!

I would definitely tell your dentist about your ms and the meds that you’re on - you may have to fill out a form anyway on things like health etc.

Both my dentist and my GP have said that some meds can cause dry mouth which in turn can accelerate tooth decay. Speak to your GP if you do suffer with a dry mouth because he can prescribe something for it.

Good luck

Debbie xx

…p.s. the 2.30 appt amused me too!

Hi J,

Well this is a new one to me. I do have receding gums, and I have MS, but most of my family have r.g., and I am the only one with MS, so it doesn’t really add up. I haven’t seen a toothwright in about ten years either. I hope that your appointment goes well.


If you read Tegretol side effects it mentions gum/teeth damage possible. I know people who have siezures and they too have had major dental problems taking them long term.

I weaned off them, although Im not suggesting those taking them should. Indeed lots of medication has side effects and I wouldnt be surprised if constant useage/dry mouth contributed towards your receeding gums. Mine have too and Ive had lots of teeth out because of ‘nerve pain’ only to find they were fine once out! Dentist was always curious as to why I kept saying I had toothache and it went away when a perfectly healthy tooth was extracted.

Seems dental issues can be quite common amongst msers?



Thanks for all the comments. I am not on any medication - apart from LDN - so no side effects giving me a dry mouth.

I googled “gum disease and multiple sclerosis” and found this reported on a few sites:-

Autoimmune Diseases. Autoimmune conditions (Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, CREST syndrome) have been associated with a higher incidence of periodontal disease. Some research suggests that periodontal disease may even play some causal role. Still, more research is needed to determine a definitive association between these diseases.”

and I also found some information about overactive immune systems reacting to bacteria around teeth causing problems.

Anyway I am dfinitely going to mention that I have MS to the dentist.

I’ll let you know how I get on at the dentist.


Hi J, there was an article a few years ago in a dental magazine linking gum inflamation and MS. I remember someone posted on here about it.

I have had inflamed gums for past few years (not sure if they’re receding) and my dentist says it’s caused by MS. He says he’s read about it and other patients with MS have gum problems.

I also hate the dentist too so hoping it goes ok.

Pat x

Thanks Pat, that’s helpful.

I’m bricking it at the moment - only 3 1/2 hours until my appointment. I must man-up! Funnily enough I woke up this morning and my painful tooth is no longer painful. I’d be temted to cancel, but my other half says I’m not to and it is the second time I’ve had problems with this tooth in the last few months so I can see that I should get it sorted before it gets worse.


When you register at a dentist - you have to fill a form in answering questions about your health and what medications you are on. My dentist [ a lovely young Chinese lady] - always asks about my health and wether l have changed any of my meds. When l started seeing her - about 2yrs ago- after previous dentist retired - l had to go every 3months as she was very concerned about the state of my gums. l have always cleaned my teeth twice a day - but she showed me how to use these little TeePee brushes that clean between the teeth and gums and l always use an electric toothbrush. lt took about 9months - and what a difference - my gums now do not bleed when l clean my teeth.

l too have read how gum disease can cause other illnesses. So look after them. And Good Luck for this afternoon.


OK so I’ve been for my dental appointment and survived. However the dentist could find nothing wrong with my painful tooth. He took xrays and found no decay, which is obviously good, but then why have I been in so much pain? I do not think the pain was MS related, my tooth and the surrounding area were at times throbbing and using sensitive tooth paste did help. The dentist did say that there might be a fine crack in the tooth that he can’t see and that might be why it has been painful. We are going to keep an eye on it.

The bad news is that I have chronic periodontal disease and I have lost some bone. I’ve looked this up and don’t really understand as my gums very rarely bleed and are not swollen or inflamed, but they have receded. He advised me to by a funny little tooth brush and the teepee brushes, which I have and I have to clean my teeth for 10 minutes twice a day, cleaning right down between the teeth and the gums. He said that the fact that I smoke was probably the main factor. He had heard that there may be a conection between MS and periodontal disease, but he said it has yet to be proven. I’m to go back next week and he is going to measure the depth he can put a probe down between my teeth and gums, then I’m to have a cleaning procedure, then go back for more checks to see if the situation is improving.

He was very kind and gentle so I will go back.


Hi again J, the pain might be nerve pain and not tooth pain at all. Nerve pain in the jaw has a name but can’t remember it. Anyway quite common with MS and other conditions. My friend has rheumatoid athritis and kept going to dentist with tooth pain and dentist couldn’t find anything wrong. Turned out to be nerve pain. Wish I could remember name… but google ‘jaw pain’ and you should find it. Begins with T (awful brain fog… sorry).

Glad he was kind and gentle. My dentist seems to take great joy in hurting me… honestly… but so hard now to get NHS dentist I’m sort of stuck with her.

Pat x

Hi Pat

I think you mean trigeminal neuritis? (I googled it) I really do not think that is what I was experiencing. The pain was definitely associated with one tooth, it eased when I applied sensitive tooth paste, oil of cloves, rinsed with mouth wash and or took pain killers. It still doesn’t feel the same as my other teeth when I push it with my tongue or bite down on it.

You may not be stuck with your dentist. I don’t know where you are but in my area there are quite a few dentists taking on patients and this wasn’t the case a while ago.

If you haven’t already try this web site:

You put in your postcode and you can tick a box to only show you dentists accepting NHS patients. You can also search for other services too.

Best wishes J.

Trigeminal neuralgia! Knew all those years of training would be useful one day :slight_smile: