What is Sjögrens Syndrome?
We all work hard for our oral health, but occasionally that strict schedule of brushing, flossing, and regular visits to your McKinney TX dentist doesn’t stop oral health problems. Occasionally, our patients suffer from other medical conditions that can affect their oral health.
When this happens, McKinney Smiles is here to support our patients in achieving their best health, and the first step to this end is: education. Here’s one medical condition that can affect your oral health. We’ll tell you what it is, and how it works.
Sjögrens is pronounced SHOW-grins. It is one of the most common autoimmune disorders seen in the healthcare field, and because it can have a big impact on patients’ oral health, it’s a disorder that dentists are always on the lookout for.
An autoimmune disorder is one in which your body’s immune system gets confused and actually attacks your own body– rather than an invader, like a virus or bacteria. In the case of Sjögrens, your body’s immune system attacks moisture-producing glands. The big hallmarks of this disease are dry eyes and dry mouth.
How does this affect your oral health?
Saliva is a critical part of your oral health, and it has a variety of jobs:
- Washing your mouth free of food particles
- Transporting calcium and phosphate ions for remineralization of tooth enamel
- Neutralizing the your oral pH, which protects tooth enamel
Additionally, saliva contains enzymes that are part of the digestive cycle. It is truly a jack-of-all-trades and an indispensable oral health team member!
When your body is not making saliva, problems start to occur in your mouth. Without saliva washing away debris and balancing the acids created by bacteria, your teeth are more subject to decay. Because the bacteria aren’t kept in check, plaque can build quicker and easier; it is most dangerous around the gum line where the growing plaque irritates gums and causes an inflammatory response.
Lack of saliva can lead to:
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Enamel erosion
Your McKinney TX dentist is a part of your health care team
Health problems, like Sjögrens, that effect your entire body can be spotted through regular dental check ups and cooperation between your dentist and other members of the health profession.
This is why McKinney Smiles places such high value on patient education and teaming up with our patients for their best health. We know that your healthy smile is tied to your healthy body.
Ask more questions about this or other dental concerns, please call us or visit us! We are here for your health.
Photo Credit: Capture The Uncapturable via Compfight cc