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What dental complications may arise from having scleroderma?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Scleroderma damages salivary glands, tightens skin around the face, and damages connective tissues in the mouth, making it hard to open the mouth wide and care for your teeth. The damage to the salivary glands limits saliva production. And without enough saliva, bacteria don’t get flushed out, so they stick around and make house, which can lead to tooth decay. Not to mention, it can be difficult to brush and floss properly if you can’t open your mouth wide enough. Finally, weakened connective tissues in the mouth can cause teeth to loosen, but you don’t have to worry about all your teeth falling out with one bump to the head like a cartoon character.

 

 

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Scleroderma can result in tightness of the skin on the face. This tightness can make it difficult to open your mouth wide enough to adequately clean your teeth and gums. Further, the tightness can restrict the flow of saliva, leading to dry mouth and further risk of tooth decay.


Scleroderma may lead to dental complications for a variety of reasons. Tightening of the skin around the mouth can make it difficult to open the mouth wide enough to clean the teeth and gums, which may lead to tooth decay. Tooth decay can also occur due to acid reflux eating away at tooth enamel. Another potential complication is that people with scleroderma sometimes don't produce enough saliva, which increases the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay. And scleroderma can damage connective tissue and cause teeth to loosen. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about dental complications.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.