December 27, 2013

Lupus Treatment: Oral and Dental Complications

Syndrome of Lupus

All Lupus patients suffer from some sort of oral involvement, and these complications often come about as a side effect of medical treatment. Certain forms of organ involvement carry dental warnings: with kidney involvement, certain antibiotics (tetracycline) or analgesics (aspirin, NSAIDS) adversely affect kidney function. Antibiotics need to be given prior to treatment for those with Liebman-Sacks Endocarditis (a form of heart involvement) or mitral valve prolapse. Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) is contraindicated for those with lung problems. Caution should be taken with patients with abnormal bleeding. Those with Sjogren's Syndrome usually have severe dry mouth that may result in massive decay, dental infections, yeast infections and gum disease.

Oral Health 

Medications: Anti-convulsants can cause gum atrophy and bleeding. Anti-malarials (plaquenil) can cause intraoral rashes. Immunosuppressive agents (methotrexate) suppress the immune system and may result in bacterial or fungal infections. NSAIDS (advil, motrin, feldene, daypro) can cause oral ulcers. Steroids--prednisone and other corticosteroids increase the likelihood of bacterial and oral fungal infections. Any medications which cause dry mouth put the patient at risk for tooth decay and gum disease.

Lupus patients require frequent dental checkups and periodontal maintenance to optimize their oral health.

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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