Scleroderma or Systemic sclerosis

Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) and oral health care

Scleroderma is a chronic auto-immune condition that mostly affects women.  Rather than get into too much detail about the disease we will dicuss the effects it has on the mouth. Also we will show how you can reduce those negative effects.

Symptoms of Scleroderma in the oral cavity

Xerostomia (mouth dryness)

  • I have an entire post on mouth dryness linked here.  There is a lot of helpful information located there.

Microstomia (limited mouth opening due to tightening of skin)

  • Difficulty with eating and perhaps speech.
  • Can make it difficult to insert and remove dentures and undergo routine dental care.
  • Nothing can really help with this and we just deal with any issues that arise from this.

Mouth issues

Scleroderma pano with widened PDL
Ligaments attaching teeth to bone are inflamed causing teeth to be loose

Other issues that those with scleroderma also suffer from

Patients with this condition often have multiple auto-immune conditions like Sjögren’s Syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, and rheumatoid arthritis.  Together that makes for thin friable tissue that patients easily irritate.  This is important because these patients usually end up losing the majority of their teeth for various disease related issues.  That thin tissue makes traditional dentures difficult if not impossible to endure as the tissue is continually being rubbed raw.  I typically will reject making anything but an implant supported denture for these patients, although these can be impossible if mouth is too restricted.

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2 Responses to “Scleroderma or Systemic sclerosis”

  1. April 16, 2018 at 9:12 pm #

    Good evening,
    I have been diagnoised with scloderma, rynauids, ruthemoid arthitis, for 17 years. now i am having problems with my mouth. what can you recommend

    • April 18, 2018 at 4:31 am #

      Go to the dry mouth post in this one.

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