Did you know that autoimmune disorders can affect your dental health?
There are many different types of autoimmune diseases that can affect the mouth and teeth. Some examples include:
Scleroderma: This disorder causes hardening and thickening of the skin and can also affect the blood vessels, internal organs, and muscles. It can cause dry mouth and difficulty swallowing, as well as changes in the appearance of the mouth mucosa.
Rheumatoid arthritis: This condition causes inflammation in the joints, which can lead to pain and swelling in the jaw and mouth. It can also cause dry mouth and difficulty opening the mouth.
Sjögren's syndrome: This syndrome causes dryness in various parts of the body, including the mouth, eyes, and nose. It can lead to dry mouth, tooth decay, and infections in the mouth.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): This disease can affect many different systems in the body and can cause dry mouth, gum disease, and oral ulcers.
Dermatomyositis: This disorder causes muscle weakness and a rash on the skin. It can also cause dry mouth and difficulty swallowing.
Multiple sclerosis: This condition affects the central nervous system and can cause dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, and changes in the appearance of the tongue.
Psoriasis: This disease causes an overproduction of skin cells, resulting in red, scaly patches on the skin. It can also cause redness or swelling in the mouth.
Crohn's disease: This condition causes inflammation in the digestive system and can lead to dry mouth, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Ulcerative colitis: This disorder causes inflammation in the colon and can lead to dry mouth and tooth decay.
Type 1 diabetes: This disease affects the body's ability to produce insulin and can cause dry mouth, gum disease, and infections in the mouth.
Graves' disease: This condition causes an overproduction of thyroid hormones and can cause dry mouth and changes in the appearance of the teeth and gums.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis: This disease causes inflammation of the thyroid gland and can lead to dry mouth and changes in the appearance of the teeth and gums.
Myasthenia gravis: This condition causes muscle weakness and can lead to difficulty swallowing and dry mouth.
Guillain-Barré syndrome: This disorder causes inflammation of the nerves and can lead to muscle weakness and difficulty swallowing.
Here are the oral manifestations that may occur in people with autoimmune disorders:
Oral infections such as thrush (a fungal infection) or herpes simplex virus (a viral infection).
Changes in the appearance of the teeth such as pitting or thinning of the enamel.
Difficulty swallowing: Some autoimmune disorders, such as myasthenia gravis, can cause difficulty swallowing due to muscle weakness
Changes in the appearance of the gums: Sjögren's syndrome, can cause changes in the appearance of the gums, such as redness or swelling.
Tooth loss: rheumatoid arthritis, can cause jawbone destruction, leading to tooth loss.
Changes in the appearance of the palate/lips: Scleroderma, can cause changes in the appearance of the palate, such as swelling or hardening.
If you have an autoimmune disorder, it's important to take extra care of your oral health to protect yourself from dental problems.
Here are some specific actions you can take to maintain a healthy smile:
1. If you have difficulty gripping a manual toothbrush, try using an electric toothbrush or one with a larger handle.
2. If you have dry mouth, stimulate saliva production by sucking on sugar-free candy or chewing gum, or try using a saliva substitute or drinking water frequently.
3. If you are taking medications that can cause dry mouth, ask your healthcare provider about alternatives or ways to manage the side effect.
4. If you are having difficulty swallowing, try eating soft, moist foods and cutting your food into small pieces
5. If you have an autoimmune disorder that affects your jaw or facial muscles, consider using a night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
Don't let your autoimmune disorder get in the way of a healthy smile - follow these tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy!