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Thread: Going to the dentist...

  1. #1
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    Default Going to the dentist...

    I really need to make an appt. and see a dentist...it's been years since I last went and my teeth are bugging me a little so I'd like to have them checked out to see if I have any cavities.
    I guess my question is...should I mention to him that I have been diagnosed with lupus? Does it make a difference?
    And can I or should I request not to have a tooth cleaning? I'm wary about the flouride rinse for one thing, and for another, they're always so rough and make my gums bleed badly.
    Now that I'm taking the ibuprofen so much it'll probably be even worse.
    I read somewhere else online that Lupus patients should be extra concerned about bacteria entering into the bloodstream from the tooth cleaning, so now I'm nervous about it.
    Do you guys tell your dentists about your Lupus and do you get your teeth cleaned?
    I guess that's more than one question, isn't it? LOL

    :P
    Ita erat quando hic adveni

  2. #2
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    Yes, you should definitely let him know about the lupus, and also about any medications you are taking. If you have sjogrens syndrome too, as many lupus patients do, it's especially important because sjogrens can cause severe tooth decay and gum disease. It's important to discuss dental care with your rheumatologist too - many lupus patients will need to take amtibiotics before any dental procedure, even tooth cleaning.

    This is critical for any lupus patient who has mitral valve prolapse, antiphospholipid antibodies, or anyone taking immunosuppressants including prednisone. The reason is that bacteria dislodged from your mouth during a dental procedure can enter the bloodstream. Many lupus patients have a condition called Liebman-Sachs endocarditis, which causes vegetations to grow in and around the heart. This condition usually doesn't cause symptoms and many lupus patients may not know they have it, but if the vegetations become infected, it can cause acute bacterial endocarditis. This is a potentially life threatening complication so you definitely want to avoid the risk. Taking antibiotics before a dental procedure and using an anti-bacterial rinse before and after are common precautions most dentists recommend, but you definitely need to discuss it with your doctor and your dentist.

    Nitrious oxide ("gas") anesthesia is usually not a good idea for lupus patients because it can depress breathing.

    I guess the bottom line is call your doctor before having any invasive procedure done to find out if you're in a high-risk category - make sure your dentist is aware of your illness and all medications, and if possible, find someone with experience in treating patients with lupus.

    Hope this helps!

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