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Oral Health and Autoimmune Diseases: Managing the Risks

November 15, 2023 9:00 am

Autoimmune diseases are a group of conditions in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues, leading to a range of health issues. While the focus is often on the systemic effects, it’s crucial not to overlook the impact of autoimmune diseases on oral health.

Autoimmune Diseases and the Mouth

Autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Crohn’s disease can have a profound impact on oral health. These conditions can manifest in various ways, including:

    Dry Mouth

    Many autoimmune diseases can cause dry mouth, which reduces saliva production. Saliva plays a crucial role in protecting teeth and gums from decay and infection.

    Gingivitis and Periodontitis

    Autoimmune diseases can increase the risk of gingivitis and periodontitis (gum disease). This can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

    Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders

    Autoimmune diseases can lead to inflammation and pain in the jaw joint, affecting the ability to open and close the mouth.

    Medications and Oral Health

    Many autoimmune disease treatments involve medications. These drugs can have oral health implications, such as dry mouth, or an increased risk of fungal infections like oral thrush. It’s essential to work closely with your healthcare team to manage the side effects of these medications on your oral health.

Managing the Risks of Oral Health and Autoimmune Diseases

Maintaining good oral health is crucial for those living with autoimmune diseases. Some ways to manage the risks of impact include:

  • Brushing and flossing regularly to prevent gum disease and decay.
  • Scheduling regular dental visits for cleanings and check-ups.
  • Keeping your dentist in Petaluma and medical professionals informed about your autoimmune condition and medications.

Comprehensive Dental Care in Petaluma, CA

Managing the risks to oral health when living with an autoimmune disease is vital. By being proactive and maintaining good oral hygiene, it’s possible to reduce the impact of autoimmune disorders. To learn more about how Dr. Serrano and our practice can help you manage your oral health, schedule an appointment with us today!

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