Addressing the oral health needs of people with MS

Dr Matthew Nangle

The University of Queensland, QLD

| Better treatments | Social And Applied Research | Incubator | 2020 | Investigator Led Research |


Oral health is an essential component of critical care, but traditionally it has been neglected in people with MS due to the focus on other MS-related clinical needs. This is an important oversight given that many diseases of the mouth can negatively impact conditions such as MS and there are strong grounds for predicting that people with MS may be more susceptible to a range of oral health problems.

In recognition of the importance of this topic, Dr Matthew Nangle and his team recently completed the first systematic review of 25 years of research focused on oral health in people with MS. The results indicate that at least some oral health problems appear to be more common in people with MS. However, because of the poor quality of many of the contributing studies, Dr Nangle’s conclusion was that there is a critical need for further, high quality studies in this area.

The specific aims of the proposed project are to address this gap in the literature, so that we can better understand which types of oral health problems are more common in people with MS, and which of these oral health problems people with MS have particular difficulties identifying in the early stages. The longer term goal of this work is to inform the development of interventions focused on earlier detection and treatment of oral health problems in people with MS.

Progress to Date

As with many other research studies, COVID-19 restrictions during 2020 caused delays in recruitment for this study. However, 40 people with MS and 30 matched controls have been recruited for the study and have completed the keys areas of interest. The research team is concentrating on continuing recruitment over the next few months to finalise data collection so that analysis of the data can commence. It is anticipated this process will take most of 2021.

Updated: 6 April 2021

Updated: 21 January, 2020

Stages of the research process

Fundamental laboratory

Laboratory research that investigates scientific theories behind the possible causes, disease progression, ways to diagnose and better treat MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 10+ years

Research that builds on fundamental scientific research to develop new therapies, medical procedures or diagnostics and advances it closer to the clinic.

Lab to clinic timeline: 5+ years
Clinical Studies
and Clinical Trials

Clinical research is the culmination of fundamental and translational research turning those research discoveries into treatments and interventions for people with MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 1-5 years



Grant Awarded

  • Incubator Grant

Total Funding

  • $14,783


  • 2 years

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Addressing the oral health needs of people with MS