Accessibility View Close toolbar

Newsletter

LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH AND ORAL HEALTH

May is Lupus Awareness Month. If you’re not quite sure how that relates to oral health, you’re not alone. Lupus is a little-understood disease, which is why health professionals make a point this time of year of educating people about its symptoms. This most common form is scientifically known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and it affects the entire body, including the mouth. People who have lupus need to be especially attentive to their hygiene, and people with persistent mouth problems should be aware of this possible explanation.

What Does Lupus Do?

May is Lupus Awareness Month. If you’re not quite sure how that relates to oral health, you’re not alone. Lupus is a little-understood disease, which is why health professionals make a point this time of year of educating people about its symptoms. This most common form is scientifically known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and it affects the entire body, including the mouth. People who have lupus need to be especially attentive to their hygiene, and people with persistent mouth problems should be aware of this possible explanation.

Inflammation

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. Its more advanced form is periodontal disease, and when it is allowed to go on for long enough, it can cause enough damage to the gums to loosen the teeth. Gingivitis is a common problem for people with diabetes, which lupus is often mistaken for in the absence of blood testing because both diseases cause widespread inflammation. Lupus can also cause inflammation in the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jaw to the skull. Inflammation at this location can cause a number of problems, including pain, difficulty opening the mouth, and teeth grinding.

Dry Mouth

Chronic inflammation is harmful to the body, but inflammation begins as part of the body’s normal immune response. People with lupus also have high rates of dry mouth (xerostomia) and of Sjögren’s syndrome, another autoimmune disorder. Sjögren’s causes the body to attack the tear and saliva glands. Without enough saliva, the body has a harder time fighting off bacterial infections, leading to more gum inflammation and tooth decay. Fungal infections also become harder to resist and can contribute to the development of mouth sores.

What to Do

Lupus requires medical treatment. Your dentist can help you manage symptoms in your mouth by advising on better hygiene practices and anti-inflammatories and by combatting the damage caused by periodontal disease. Remember, people should always use soft-bristled toothbrushes. Dry mouth is treatable with throat moisturizers as well as products that stimulate saliva production, such as sugar-free gum and hard candy.

We’ll Provide You With That Winning Smile!

Contact Us

Send Us An Email Today

OUR LOCATION

HOURS OF OPERATION

Monday:

8:00 AM-5:00 PM

Tuesday:

8:00 AM-5:00 PM

Wednesday:

8:00 AM-5:00 PM

Thursday:

8:00 AM-1:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 AM-5:00 PM

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed