Parkinson’s disease symptoms mainly relate to movement because it involves a loss of nerve cells in the part of the brain responsible for producing a chemical called dopamine. However, occasionally warning signs can be found in the mouth. Experiencing any of these mouth related issues could be an early sign of the condition.
According to the charity, Parkinson’s can cause the muscles in a person’s jaw and face to be less efficient, which affects the control they have over chewing and swallowing.
“Less efficient muscles may also reduce the tightness that you have when closing your lips, making it hard to swallow,” said the health body.
Parkinson’s can also cause problems with tongue muscles.
As the charity explained: “The tongue is important in swallowing. We use it to move food around and push it to the back of the mouth to trigger the swallowing reflexes. Parkinson’s can also impair the reflexes that protect our windpipe from food and drink.”
“See your GP if you’re concerned you may have symptoms of Parkinson’s disease,” advises the NHS.
It is important to alert your GP sooner rather than later as evidence shows you can slow down its progression by making healthy lifestyle choices.
Exercise is one of the most effective measures you can take to delay its progression.
According to the Parkinson’s Foundation (PF), exercise can assist in maintaining balance, mobility and daily living activities, along with a potential “neuroprotective” effect.
In fact, there is a growing consensus among researchers about the short and long-term benefits of exercise for people with Parkinson’s.