Just like your whole body, people with autoimmune diseases like lupus must make sure that their oral health is taken care of. It is the window to your body so it is important that you protect your self from any unwanted bacteria’s!
Around 40% of patients with lupus will develop some form of mouth ulcers. Common signs and symptoms of poor oral health and dental problems include:
Red, tender, swollen or bleed gums
Gums that are pulling away from the teeth
Tooth decay or cavities
Painful teeth or pain when chewing
Ulcers or lesions on the tongue or gums
The severity and type of mouth ulcer that patients experience can be different. This is most often a sign of systemic lupus, but can also be caused by cutaneous or discoid lupus. This can be a warning sign of lupus in children; although this often goes unnoticed.
It is important that you go to see a healthcare to check that it is nothing serious and make sure that oral health is not compromised.
What causes oral and dental health problems in lupus patients
Some of the medications that are used to treat lupus are can cause dental problems. This includes:
Potassium channel blockers
It is important to note that ulcers and dental problems are not always caused by conditions such as Lupus.
If you have lupus that affects your oral health, your healthcare team will work with you to ensure that the symptoms are improved. If it is related to medication, they will work to find a different option that has the same benefits.
Here are some tips to help you maintain good oral health:
Brush your teeth at least twice a day and replace your tooth brush every three months
Floss once a day
Use mouth wash that kills infections and strengthens teeth
Eat a balanced diet that is low in sugar and acid
Avoid soft drinks, caffeine drinks and smoking
Drink plenty of water
Attend regular dental appointment and healthcare check-ups