Twenty-one-year-old Demetria Rhynes couldn’t have imagined that one visit to the dentist would change her life. In 2011, Demetria went in for a routine procedure, but noticed her gums were still numb several days later. To be safe, she went back to her dentist, who referred her to a neurologist, who diagnosed her with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease.
Over time, Demetria slowly became unable to walk and lost all mobility in the right side of her body —which became really hard for her. While other 21-year-olds were embracing adulthood, Demetria was struggling to live with and manage a lifelong condition. Demetria says the experience was eye-opening, and it motivated her to monitor her health closely. Because she saw her dentist regularly, Demetria’s multiple sclerosis was caught and treated early and she is able to walk. “Because I saw my dentist, my multiple sclerosis was caught early and I am able to live a normal life.”