May 31, 2017
If you have an autoimmune disease, you know the effects of your health condition can be far-reaching. These types of diseases affect the way your immune system reacts to the tissues and organs in your own body. Your holistic dentist in Southlake, Dr. Preetha Thomas, knows autoimmune diseases can have a significant effect on your oral health, and she considers each patient’s health status while creating treatment plans.
How does having an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, or scleroderma (progressive systemic sclerosis) affect your oral health? It may be with your saliva, your mouth, or in the function of your jaw. Let’s take a closer look.
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Oral Health
People who have rheumatoid arthritis are at a higher risk of developing gum disease, which then increases the chances that they will experience a host of health conditions associated with periodontal disease. Heart problems, respiratory issues, tooth loss, and other issues are all related to gum disease.
Arthritis can also affect the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and make eating, speaking, and opening the mouth up wide difficult. Certain medications may cause dry mouth, which can increase the risk of cavities and infection.
Lupus, Lyme Disease, and Oral Health
People who have lupus are at an especially high risk of a number of oral health problems, including cavities, oral sores, and oral thrush (or fungal infections in the mouth). Indeed, the first sign of lupus may be a particular type of sore on the lower lip, inner cheeks, or the roof of the mouth. And the impact of lupus on oral health is even greater considering that many of the medications that treat lupus also cause dry mouth, which increases the risk of cavities and gum disease even further.
Patients who have Lyme disease also have considerable challenges with dental health. They may experience pain in the face or teeth, or have an aching TMJ (temporomandibular joint).
Scleroderma and Oral Health
For patients with scleroderma, small mouth, dry mouth, jaw pain, gum disease, and dietary issues are common. It may be more difficult to properly brush and floss with scleroderma, too, as hand movement is often restricted. The disease may cause the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, resulting in severe gum recession. Dry mouth is also common with this autoimmune disease, further increasing the risk of a host of oral health concerns.
How Holistic Dentistry Helps
Dr. Thomas is prepared to help patients with autoimmune diseases achieve the ultimate in oral health with the help of holistic dentistry. With these autoimmune conditions, the immune system is already in overdrive — attacking organs and tissues that do not pose any real threat. Incompatible materials in your mouth (amalgam, metal, and others) as well as infection could be making the strain even worse on your body. By considering the entire body in treatment plans and using only biocompatible materials, holistic dentistry provides a safe way to treat oral issues that are associated with autoimmune diseases.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
Are you dealing with an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, or scleroderma? You know these health conditions affect your oral health in a big way — and holistic dentistry provides a way to ensure that your smile stays as healthy as possible. Schedule an appointment with your Southlake dentist today!
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