Oral & Vision Health Blog

Lupus & Dental Health: 5 Things You Should Know

Approximately 1.5 million Americans have a form of lupus. The disease tends to form between the ages of 15 to 44. Though many symptoms are linked with lupus, such as hair loss and fatigue, did you know that it can also affect your oral health?

Lupus affects how your auto-immune system works. A lupus-affected system cannot tell the difference between an infected tissue and a healthy tissue. Patients who experience oral symptoms from lupus may not be aware of the connection between these symptoms and the disease.

One of the most common symptoms of lupus is sores in the mouth. They may look like canker sores and can appear on the roof of the mouth and even in the nose! These sores are stress-triggered, and sometimes an early sign of lupus.

Five things you should know about lupus and your dental health:

  • 40 percent of oral sores in people with lupus are caused by other factors such as medication.
  • Taking care of your mouth with mouthwash, avoiding stress, and using a soft toothbrush can help prevent sores.
  • Lupus can lead to a condition known as Sjogren's Syndrome. It 23 times more likely in people who have lupus than in those who do not. Sjogren's Syndrome decreases saliva production which causes dry mouth and increases your risk of dental decay.
  • Corticosteroids, a primary line of treatment for lupus, cause serious dry mouth. This leads to an increased risk of tooth decay in patients.

Routine preventive dental care is an effective way to lessen your chances of getting mouth sores. If you are battling lupus, a dental insurance plan will be extremely useful. Dental plans promote wellness and prevention by encouraging routine visits to your dentist. Additionally, if you are ever unsure on how to treat any mouth sores, your dentist will be able to provide excellent information and can prescribe you effective medication. So, make sure you are getting the dental care you need to help you maintain your oral health.

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