The Link Between Dental Care And Lupus

Dental care and lupus deserves special attention after your diagnosis, as autoimmune diseases and the medications used to treat them can enhance or create oral and dental problems.

Mouth Symptom Concerns For Patients With Lupus

Some lupus patients suffer from a number of mouth symptoms, such as:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Candidias thrush infections (a kind of yeast infection)
  • Chronic dry mouth
  • Cracked lips and tongue
  • Gingivitis
  • Heightened susceptibility to infection
  • Lichen planus
  • Sore or tightened mouth and jaw
  • Oral lesions such as canker sores
  • Ulcers on the tongue, gums and cheeks.

What Kind Of Dentist Should You Visit?

Lupus patients should plan on visiting the dentist more frequently in order to keep dental issues under control, most likely every three to four months. You may want to use a dentist who practices oral pathology, periodontics or oral medicine, and has experience with lupus patients.

Keep your dentist up to date on your current medications and treatments. Certain dental treatments and medications can react badly with lupus treatments or enhance lupus symptoms.

Some reactions are life threatening if they affect the heart, lungs or other major organs, or if they expose you to dangerous infection. A dentist with experience in the special needs of lupus patients will be more equipped to work with you on finding safe and appropriate treatment methods.

Starting a new lupus medication may also lead to new mouth symptoms and many mouth symptoms coincide directly with symptom flares. Working closely with your dentist and doctor will help you predict upcoming flares and treat the symptoms before they worsen.

What You Can Do At Home

Pay special attention to keeping your teeth and mouth clean. This means brushing twice a day using a soft bristle brush, flossing and using mouthwash. If toothpaste aggravates your gums, use a toothpaste specifically for sensitive guns or substitute baking soda and water.

Regularly inspect your mouth for any bleeding, red or painful areas and alert your dentist immediately. Keep the area clean and talk to your doctor and dentist about ways to avoid infection.

Your dentist may make dietary recommendations, such as avoiding carbonated beverages, citrus fruits and spicy foods in order to prevent aggravation of dental problems.

Proper dental care is one of many steps you can take to see for yourself how healthy living affects lupus.