Is Scleroderma Treatment Available for Dry Mouth and Dental Problems?

Scleroderma Treatment for Dry Mouth and Dental Problems

Dental problems are common in people with scleroderma for a number of reasons:
 
  • Tightening facial skin can make the mouth opening smaller and narrower, which makes it harder to care for teeth
  • Dry mouth due to salivary gland damage speeds up tooth decay
  • Damage to connective tissues in the mouth can lead to loose teeth.
 
You can avoid tooth and gum problems by implementing the following scleroderma treatment options:
 
  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly. (If hand pain and stiffness make this difficult, consult your doctor or an occupational therapist about specially made toothbrush handles and devices to make flossing easier.)
 
  • Have regular dental checkups. Contact your dentist immediately if you experience mouth sores, mouth pain, or loose teeth.
 
  • If decay is a problem, ask your dentist about fluoride rinses or prescription toothpastes that remineralize and harden tooth enamel.
 
  • Consult a physical therapist about facial exercises to help keep your mouth and face more flexible.
 
  • Keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of water, sucking ice chips, using sugarless gum and hard candy, and avoiding mouthwashes with alcohol. If dry mouth still bothers you, ask your doctor about a saliva substitute or a prescription medication called pilocarpine hydrochloride (Salagen®) that can stimulate the flow of saliva.
 

Information About Scleroderma

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