Autoimmune Disease and Your Dental Health
A staggering number of Americans (more than 23 million!) are affected by autoimmune disease. While every disease is different, they each require some sort of lifestyle change. Yet, many do not realize the effects of autoimmune disease on dental health. This is why dental professionals are urging patients to keep up with regular dental visits, as well as oral care at home. A few common autoimmune diseases are explained below.
Associated with rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's Syndrome is an autoimmune disease that affects females, in most cases. By attacking the glands, several areas of the body become dry, including the mouth. This is perhaps the most damaging symptom related to dental health, because saliva is needed to wash away harmful bacteria throughout the day. When individuals suffer from dry mouth, the risk for decay is high, and fungal infections are frequent. In the same way, those with Celiac disease often experience mouth and canker sores from dry mouth.
Also causing inflammation throughout the body, Crohn's Disease, Lupus, and Psoriasis manifest orally, resulting in irritated gum tissues, ulcers of the mouth, and lesions on the lips. Yet, inflammation of the throat is another devastating effect of autoimmune disease. Specifically, Hashimoto's Disease and Scleroderma affect one's ability to swallow. In addition, Scleroderma causes tightening of the skin on the throat, making it even more uncomfortable to swallow.
Surprisingly to some, dentists may be the first line of defense when it comes to autoimmune disease and dental health. This is because of the distinct oral indicators associated with autoimmune disease. Without question, by visiting your dentist regularly and discussing your symptoms with them, you can make informed decisions about your oral and overall health.
Know What You Are Dealing With
At Bayshore Dental Center, we understand that with over 80 autoimmune diseases circulating throughout the population, there's a good chance that we will encounter patients with certain oral characteristics that provide clues into these diseases. That's why Dr. O. Sheehy has established high standards for patient treatment. This allows for comprehensive and complete examinations that help you know what you are dealing with, in regards to your autoimmune disease. As a result, you can achieve optimal oral health that will not only benefit your oral health, but your overall health.
Posted on behalf of Bayshore Dental Center