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 is an autoimmune disease which means the immune system isn’t working the way it should be. A lupus-affected system can’t tell the difference between an infected tissue and a healthy tissue, so it practically attacks everything. Patients who may experience oral symptoms from lupus may not be aware of the connection between these symptoms and the disease. Here are five things you should know about lupus and your dental health:

One of the most common symptoms of lupus are sores in the mouth. These sores can look like canker sores. They 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.

  • 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.
  • Sjogren's Syndrome is 23 times more likely in people who have lupus than in those who don't. 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, leading to an increased risk of tooth decay in patients who are prescribed these medications.

 

Routine preventive dental care is an effective way to lessen your chances of getting mouth sores. If you're battling lupus, a dental plan will be very useful. Dental plans promote wellness and prevention by encouraging routine visits to your dentist. Additionally, if you’re ever unsure on how to treat any mouth sores, your dentist will be able to provide excellent information and can prescribe you effective medication!

To better prepare for the possible symptoms from lupus, visit your dentist on a regular basis. Getting the dental care you need will help you maintain your oral health.

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