5 Autoimmune diseases that can hurt your oral health
Immune System is an interconnected network of organs, cells, and proteins in our body to fight against disease-causing microorganisms. When our body identifies any toxic substance, harmful microbes, or other infectious agents, the immune system recognizes those antigens and stimulates antibodies to kill them and cure the illness. In contrast, when there is a disruption in the immune system, it will hurt our tissues and provoke various autoimmune diseases.
There are more than 100 autoimmune diseases and they can attack any part of the body. In simply, every organ of your body will become problematic when the immune system is attacking itself.
In this post, we have listed the common autoimmune conditions that have detrimental effects on various parts of your mouth.
1) Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammation in the digestive tract. The infection will progress into the deeper layers of the bowel. Hence people suffering from this inflammatory condition will encounter problems like abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, etc.
Dentists observed that the inflammation in the intestines is reflected in organs involved in digestion. It is clear that the sufferers develop oral complications like mouth ulcers, swelling in gums & lips as the digestion process begins in the mouth.
2) Sjögren’s syndrome
Sjögren’s syndrome is a common autoimmune disease that mostly affects the body’s liquid-producing glands like tear glands, salivary glands, serous glands, sebaceous glands, etc. When the salivary glands are disrupted, it leads to less salivation flow.
Remember that saliva is a natural cleanser and wash away the bacteria in our mouth. Less salivation flow or low volume of saliva will tend to bacteria thrive and is followed by devastating conditions like dry mouth, bad breath, mouth sores, yeast infection, increased plaque, etc.
3) Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is a chronic autoimmune disorder that mostly affects younger women. It happens with the production of unusual antibodies in the blood. In general, it causes problems in the kidneys, brain, skin, and joints. Meanwhile, it affects the orofacial structures that make fitting dental restorative appliances like implant teeth, dentures difficult.
On the other hand, people with SLE have high chances of developing mouth ulcers.
4) Oral Lichen Planus
Oral Lichen Planus is an inflammatory condition that affects the mucous membranes of our mouth. It happens when the immune system attacks the cells of mucous membranes. It appears as sores or lacy patches in the oral tissues and causes a painful, burning sensation. Women aged above 50 years are highly susceptible to this autoimmune disease.
Scleroderma is an abnormal condition that happens when the immune system produces too much collagen, an essential part of our skin. Apart from skin, it infects the connective tissues and certain internal organs. Such abnormal growth of tissues will tighten the skin extremely.
The thickened connective tissues make swallowing difficult and dryness in the mouth is the other dental problem associated with this autoimmune disease.
The exact cause of the autoimmune disease is still a mystery but doctors believe that it might happen with various factors like genetics, diet, chemical substances, and much more. In the meantime, the disruption in the immune system is one of the factors of various dental diseases.
So we advise everyone to reveal the autoimmune diseases you have to your dentist when you seek treatments for your oral illness.