Periodontal Disease and Systemic Sclerosis (SSc)

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Bone Resorption


Periodontal Pick by Shelley EnszDue to dry mouth and hygiene difficulties, scleroderma patients are at increased risk for periodontal disease. Symptoms of periodontal disease include toothache, loose teeth, bad breath, and painful, red, and swollen bleeding gums. Treatment may include medications and having a dental hygenist scrape plaque off the roots of the teeth. (Also see Scleroderma Dental Involvement, What is Scleroderma?, Types of Scleroderma, and Systemic Sclerosis)

Tooth loss in middle age linked to heart disease. Losing two or more natural teeth in middle age may signal an increased risk for coronary heart disease, a U.S. study suggests. Reuters Health, 04/18/2018. (Also see Cardiac (Heart) Involvement)

Autoimmunity and Periodontal Disease

Rheumatoid arthritis patients' oral health and disease activity. Cooperation between rheumatologists and dentists is important in oral health management in periodontal inflammation. PubMed, Int J Rheum Dis, 05/07/2019. (Also see Symptoms and Complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Risk association between scleroderma disease (SSc) characteristics, periodontitis (PD), and tooth loss. This study showed that patients with SSc presented increased odds of PD and tooth loss compared to non–diseased controls and clinicians should be aware of the potential systemic health problems related to PD. PubMed, Clin Rheumatol, 10/07/2017.

Could Gum Disease Cause Rheumatoid Arthritis? A type of bacteria found in severe gum disease may trigger many cases of rheumatoid arthritis, researchers reported Wednesday. NBC Health News, 12/14/2016. (Also see Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Hair Loss Linked to Tooth Infections. Following the link between white blood cells, infection, and alopecia, scientists are now studying the effects of tooth infection, and the increase in white blood cells, to sudden hair loss. HairLossExpert, 01/22/2016. (Also see Alopecia)

Bone Resorption

Anti–HMGB1 neutralizing antibody attenuates periodontal inflammation and bone resorption in a murine periodontitis model. These findings indicate that high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is secreted in response to inflammatory stimuli caused by periodontal infection, which is crucial for the initiation of periodontitis. PubMed, Infect Immun, 03/12/2018. (Also see Bone Resorption)

Osteolysis Affecting the Jaws in Systemic Sclerosis: Clinical and Osseous Changes Based on a Case Presentation. Based on the presented case and the neglection of the oral findings, early monitoring of oral changes in patients with this condition is mandatory and may improve their living conditions. PMC, Clin Med Insights Arthritis Musculoskelet Disord, 2015; 8: 65–67.

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