Oral Health Link to Whole Body Health: A Blog

Oral Health Link to Whole Body Health: A Blog

3 Reasons to Have Regular Dental Appointments When You Have Crohn's Disease

Duane Kelly

Crohn's disease doesn't just affect your gastrointestinal tract; it can also be present in your mouth. People with Crohn's disease understand the importance of seeing their gastroenterologist regularly, but what about their dentist? A dentist with experience of identifying oral Crohn's disease is an invaluable addition to your care team and can spot early signs of problems that you can report back to your gastroenterologist. Here are three reasons everyone with Crohn's should have regular dental check-ups:

Detection of Oral Crohn's Disease

As you'll be aware, people with Crohn's disease have periods of remission followed by periods of active disease, which need to be brought under control quickly to avoid the need for surgery and potential complications such as anaemia. Regular dental check-ups allow your dentist to spot signs of Crohn's disease in your mouth, which could indicate you're heading for a flare-up. These signs include:

  • Tongue inflammation
  • Ulcers that look similar to canker sores, but could be Crohn's ulcers
  • Inflammation around your lips
  • Abscesses
  • Bad breath

Detection of Malabsorption

Malabsorption can occur due to intestinal inflammation and diarrhea when your disease is active or when you've had bowel resection surgery. It can take some time for signs of nutritional deficiency such as leg cramps to appear, but the health of your mouth can tell your dentist quite a lot about your nutritional status. Here are a few deficiencies your dentist can spot:

  • Folic acid—Your tongue may appear shiny and be red and sore.
  • Vitamin A—Your mouth may have a number of white patches.
  • Zinc—Oral thrush can be an indicator of low levels of zinc.
  • Vitamin K—Bleeding gums can signal a vitamin K deficiency.
  • Vitamin B3—Your gums may begin to peel and be sore when touched.

Detection of Medication Side Effects

The medication you take to control your Crohn's disease may have side effects that can impact on your oral health. Depending on the medication, these side effects can be minor or lead to a decline in your oral health if left untreated. Keep your dentist up-to-date on the medications you're taking as this will help them know what to look for during your check-up. Medications used to treat Crohn's disease that can cause problems with your oral health include:

  • Methotrexate—This drug can cause mouth sores, bleeding gums and gum disease.
  • Adalimumab—Due to its effect on your immune system, this drug can increase your susceptibility to oral infections.
  • Mesalazine—Oral thrush and mouth sores are possible side effects of this medication.

Conveying any significant findings from your dental check-ups to your gastroenterologist can help them stay on top of your treatment and manage your disease effectively. If you're overdue a dental examination, schedule an appointment with local clinics like Bright Smile Dental Clinic.


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About Me
Oral Health Link to Whole Body Health: A Blog

You may have heard that cavities and oral decay are linked to things like heart disease, and, in fact, your oral health affects your entire body. Hi! My name is Brenda, and I like to look at things holistically. Because of that, I created this blog. I plan for its posts to look at the link between dental issues and other health issues. I hope that the people who visit this blog learn a few tips about oral care as well as gaining a deeper understanding of why it's so important. Healthy smiles indicate a healthy body, and I hope this blog helps you achieve both!