Dental Care Tips

Taking Care of Your Mouth When You Have Lupus

Practicing good oral hygiene is important for people with lupus. Every lupus patient should tell their dentist about their condition and arrange for communication with their physician. Inform the dentist of the patient’s health history and medications/supplements, as this can impact dental exams, cleanings and procedures.6 Lupus patients need to maintain a regular schedule for dental care and the dentist may recommend more frequent visits.7

Other tips for Oral Health:7, 1

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. For dry mouth, ask about saliva substitute or other oral rinses. The dentist may recommend a fluoride rinse as well.
  • Brush at least twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Floss every day. The dentist may recommend following flossing with an antimicrobial mouth to kill bacteria and fungi.
  • Patients may want to avoid foods that are hot, spicy or acidic to avoid irritating mouth sores.
  • Patients with UV light sensitivity should wear a lip balm with SPF protection.
  • Talk to the dentist about specific recommendations for each patient’s individual diagnosis and treatment plan.

Sources:

1. Treating Patients with Lupus; Dimensions of Dental Hygiene; October 2013
2. Lupus facts and statistics; National Resource Center on Lupus
3. Lupus fact sheet; Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; July 2012
4. Oral Manifestations of Systemic Disease; American Family Physician; December 2010
5. Oral candidiasis in systemic lupus erythematosus; Lupus; June 2014
6. Another Lupus Challenge: Caring for Your Mouth; Lupus Research Alliance
7. Mouth maintenance: Fight tooth decay and gum disease with proper dental upkeep; Lupus Foundation of America