If you have an autoimmune disease and wear braces or use a retainer, then you may need to visit your orthodontist more frequently. Auto-immune disorders can cause a number of symptoms including fatigue, hair loss, fluctuations in your weight, gastrointestinal problems, and even problems within your oral cavity. Here are some ways auto-immune disorders can affect your orthodontic treatments and what you can do about them.
Certain autoimmune disorders and the medications used to treat them can affect your gum tissue and the underlying bone. This may be because those with autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren's Syndrome can lead to dry mouth, raising your risk for gingivitis and periodontal disease. If you develop periodontal disease as a result of your autoimmune disease, the bones that support your teeth may become damaged. Because of this, it is important to see your orthodontist regularly so that they can determine if your periodontal disease is preventing your braces from shifting your teeth back into their proper positions. When the bones that support your teeth are damaged as a result of periodontal disease, your orthodontist may need to tighten or adjust your braces more frequently to make sure that your treatment will be successful.
If you develop periodontal disease, gingivitis, or dry mouth as a result of an autoimmune disease, then your orthodontist may recommend that you see your endocrinologist or primary care physician on a regular basis to ensure that your condition is being monitored and well-managed. They may also remind you to drink plenty of water throughout the day to help restore moisture to your dehydrated oral tissues. This will help prevent dry mouth and will help wash away cavity-causing bacteria that can accumulate inside your mouth as a result of salivary gland dysfunction. Your dentist may also recommend an over-the-counter moisturizing mouthwash to treat your dry mouth. They will also advise you to avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol because these can further dry out your oral mucosa. Instead, your dentist may recommend opting for an enzyme-based mouthwash to help restore oral moisture.
Autoimmune diseases can also accelerate plaque and calcium formation, further raising your risk for dental decay and periodontal disease. Your orthodontist may recommend using a tartar control toothpaste and getting more frequent teeth cleanings to help maintain your oral health. Certain companies, such as Reed & Sahlaney Orthodontics, LLP, know that if you have an auto-immune disease, see both your physician and orthodontist on a regular basis. When doing so, you are more likely to enjoy a problem-free experience while undergoing your orthodontic treatment.