How Can Crohn’s Disease Affect Oral Health?

December 21, 2023

Filed under: News — Elmbrook Family Dental @ 11:23 am
Doctor writing the words “Crohn’s Disease” in marker

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. It mainly affects the digestive tract – specifically the intestines – but you may be surprised to learn that it can also have an impact on your oral health. To help you protect your smile, your preventive dentist is here to explain the less-than-obvious link between Crohn’s disease and your mouth.

What Exactly is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is characterized by an inflamed, irritated digestive tract. The exact cause of the disease is unknown, although some researchers think it may be due to an autoimmune reaction. Some of the symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease include abdominal pain, diarrhea, a loss of appetite, and fever. Over time, it can lead to severe complications such as malnutrition or abscesses (infected pus-filled pockets) in the digestive tract.

What is the Link Between Crohn’s Disease and Your Mouth?

So what kind of impact can Crohn’s disease have on your smile? For one thing, it can potentially lead to oral sores known as aphthous ulcers. These sores are similar to canker sores, and they can be quite painful. Furthermore, studies have shown that people with Crohn’s disease tend to suffer from more severe xerostomia; this is a condition where your mouth isn’t producing enough saliva, which can ultimately leave you more susceptible to tooth decay.

Crohn’s disease may also be indirectly linked to an increased risk for gum disease. This is because Crohn’s disease is related to a weakened immune system. When your immune system is already weak, your body will be less capable of fending off the bacteria that can cause gum infections.

How Can You Take Care of Your Smile When You Have Crohn’s Disease?

You need to be extra diligent about taking care of your mouth if you’re currently struggling with Crohn’s disease. One crucial step is to maintain a strict dental hygiene routine of brushing at least two times every day and flossing on a daily basis. If you don’t already use mouthwash, now is a good time to start.

It’s important to let your dentist know as soon as possible if you have Crohn’s disease so that they can take that into account when considering certain treatments. Additionally, you should have a dental checkup and cleaning performed at least once every six months to increase your chances of having problems caught as early as possible.

Even if you have Crohn’s disease, you don’t have to let it prevent you from maintaining a healthy smile. Talk to your dentist to see if they have further tips for keeping your teeth and gums safe.

About the Practice

At Elmbrook Family Dental, all of our dental experts work together to bring our patients truly high-level dental care. We have made a point of making sure that our office in Brookfield has been equipped with the latest technology, and we strive to meet a variety of dental needs under a single roof. If you would like to schedule an appointment with us, visit our website or call (262) 784-7201.

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