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

Association of adipokines with rheumatic disease activity indexes and periodontal disease in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (eRA) and their first-degree relatives. High adipokine levels in eRA may modulate the disease activity. PubMed, Int J Rheum Dis, 2019 Nov;22(11):1990-2000.

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)

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)

Case Report: Maxillofacial Implications of Scleroderma and Systemic Sclerosis. We present the case of a 26-year-old female patient with scleroderma who exhibited extreme maxillofacial manifestations of the disease. PubMed, J Oral Maxillofac Surg.

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