Good oral health can be the difference between smiling & screaming. But, it’s not as easy as proper brushing when you have lupus.
The mouth is the beginning of the digestive system. When considering oral health, all aspects of the mouth including the tongue, teeth, mucous membrane, and salivary glands are involved.
Oral ulcers and oral lesions are often found in people with lupus. Anywhere from 9% – 45% of people with lupus experience these symptoms. Despite this, according to the Colgate Oral Care Center, lupus does not contribute to tooth decay or periodontal disease.
A recent study published in January 2017 in Lupus looked more closely into the effects of lupus on oral health. Participants were matched for gender and age, and the researchers conducted interviews and oral health examinations.
People with lupus had a greater number of missing teeth than those people without lupus. This was the case even though people with lupus reported a higher frequency of brushing their teeth.
Corroborating the finding above, there were no differences found between the rate of periodontitis or decayed teeth. Additionally, there were no significant differences between the two groups on any of the following habits or clinical parameters:
- salivary flux
Participants with lupus reported that their oral health negatively impacted quality of life. A significant decrease in quality of life was tied to the wearing of prosthesis (p < 0.05).