Systemic lupus erythematosus, more commonly known as SLE or simply lupus, can be a difficult illness to live with, not in the least because of how many parts of the body it can affect. As an autoimmune disorder, lupus has the potential to damage or promote illness within almost every tissue of the body. Even the mouth isn't safe, and lupus can provoke or exacerbate a number of dental disorders--the most common problem being mouth ulcers.
Mouth ulcers are a very common symptom of SLE, and due to the distinctive appearance of lupus-caused mouth ulcers (known as discoid lupus ulcers) they are often used as a basis for an initial lupus diagnosis. Discoid ulcers are usually (but not always) painless, unlike ordinary canker sores, and are distinguished by a white ring or 'halo' present on the ulcer itself. They usually occur on the roof of the mouth, but can also appear on the gums, cheeks, tongue and lips.
Mouth ulcer prevention
Even a painless mouth ulcer can uncomfortable, and can put a big dent in your self esteem, so you should try to avoid common risk factors associated with their appearance, These risk factors include:
Some medications commonly taken to alleviate other lupus symptoms, such as hydroxychloroquine or methotraxate, can induce discoid ulcers as a side effect, but it is important not to stop taking these medications if mouth ulcers appear. Seek medical advice instead, as you may be able to switch to different medications.
Treating mouth ulcers
If, despite your best efforts, discoid lupus ulcers appear, you do have a number of treatment options available. Before starting any treatment regimen, however, you should have your ulcers inspected by a dental professional familiar with the symptoms of lupus, who may be able to offer on-the-spot treatment. Common discoid ulcer treatments include:
For more information, contact a dentist like those at Complete Dental Care.Share
20 November 2015
Hi! My name is Sarah, and as a busy professional, I understand the importance of making the most of my time. That includes everything from having productive working lunches to making the most of my dental checkups. I have created this blog to help you maximise your dental checkups. In these posts, you can learn how to prepare for your checkup, which questions to ask during your checkup and more. I am also going to have posts explaining why checkups are critical to your dental health as well as the health of your entire body. Happy reading, and thanks for visiting my blog!