Difficulty brushing teeth with Graves - Thyroid UK

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Difficulty brushing teeth with Graves

Hi I wonder if anyone else has the same experience could help me out, my wife has graves, recently she has had another burst of her thyroid and she is finding it very difficult to brush her teeth, her gag reflex is quite sensitive and has been heightened by her graves, is there anyway of easing this issue so she can brush her teeth without feeling like she is about the throw up each time. Any help would be really appreciated.

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Sounds awful marco12. The only suggestion I can make is ditch the brush and use dental floss or tape and a really good mouthwash like Corsodyll? I had an accident and loosened my front teeth once so couldn’t brush until they firmed up again so used mouthwash. Other folks on here might have other suggestions. Hope this helps a bit.

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Thank you Miss Grace, that is a helpful suggestion, she is normally ok while brushing, I think as it has heightened again plus she has a cold at the minute so that isn’t helping, I will get her to try it out, many thanks again.

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The suggested method above wouldn't be adequate as the gum margins would soon become inflamed as plaque built up and they would start to recede.

She could try using a baby toothbrush and concentrate on cleaning one tooth at a time. As an ex dental nurse this is how we taught patients who had problems with brushing.

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Thank you for your suggestion, I will get her to use this method too. Very helpful!

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I can't make the connection with Graves'; but I have a constantly heightened gag reflex compounded by a sensitivity to smells. I find that when brushing my teeth I need to keep my mouth as dry as possible, spitting out as the saliva builds, and not touch my mouth or tongue with the brush, only my teeth. I use an electric brush so that the arm of the brush isn't having to move as much as would be the case when brushing up and down manually. Some say that the gag reflex is heightened by anxiety, but not in my case - I'm not an anxious person, and I can gag at any time, however relaxed and at ease I am. I find that having dental xrays are particularly bad as I can't hold anything in my mouth, or if the dental nurse is careless with the vacuum tube and lets it rest on my tongue. So perhaps suggest she tries keeping the brush as still as possible, if using an electric one, and keeps saliva build up to a minimum.

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Oh wow that is such a useful insight thank you, my wife too also finds it difficult at the dentist, I will let her know this too, she doesn’t use an electric brush so maybe that is a the solution.

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Hi Marco, great suggestions so far. I have Graves too, I'm doing ok at the moment on 10mgs of carbimazole but back when I wasn't doing so well, I had terrible gag reflex too when brushing teeth. Electric toothbrush worked wonders. Good luck.

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Thank you gymgirl, great to hear you are doing good on the medicine, thank you for your well wishes I think the electric tooth brush is a good idea too!

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Hi Marco, I have a very large tongue, again thyroid relates but not Graves, which causes a lot of gag issues. The use of an electric toothbrush (ideally the one with the small round head) will really help her. It needs patience and practice but well worth the effort. I hope she has success very soon.

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Thank you Miffie!

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