How Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Can Affect Your Oral Health

Your oral health doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Certain general health conditions can exacerbate oral health issues, including Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. If you’ve been diagnosed with either or both of these conditions, keeping up with regular dental visits can help you manage the oral health side effects. Here’s an overview of how Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis can affect your dental health.

Oral health, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease

Both ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD) and Crohn’s disease are gastrointestinal disorders. These conditions can wreak havoc on your lower gastrointestinal tract as well as your esophagus, lips and mouth.

If you have either condition, you may experience ulcers, dry mouth, soreness and cavities. This may be due in whole or in part to nutritional deficiencies or medications which interfere with your mouth’s natural bacteria.

When you schedule an appointment with a Fioritto Family dentist, be sure to let them know if you have issues with IBD or Crohn’s. This information will help them understand what may be affecting your oral hygiene routine and overall oral health.

How do gastrointestinal diseases affect oral health?

There are three main ways gastrointestinal disorders can affect your health. First, cavities often occur alongside intestinal issues. Patients who undergo treatment for Crohn’s have reported higher instances of tooth decay and cavities. This may be because of changes to the mucus in the intestinal tract, especially in people who are using Prednisone to manage their condition.

Second, IBD is notorious for creating lesions in the gastrointestinal tract, including the intestines, mouth, esophagus and colon. When these lesions are compounded by vitamin deficiencies, patients are at a higher risk for problems like mouth ulcers, lip swelling, cheilitis, allergic reactions and sarcoidosis. If you suffer from IBD, talk to your general practitioner and you Fioritto dentist about whether you need to supplement your diet with certain vitamins.

Finally, gum inflammation and gingivitis can occur as a result of Crohn’s and poor nutrition. Both Crohn’s and IBD can interfere with your vitamin absorption. If you have either condition, it’s important to understand how they affect your immune system. Adjustments to your diet, lifestyle and medications may help you manage the often-overlooked oral health complications of these diseases.

Talk to your Fioritto dentist about your health conditions

When you visit your Fioritto dentist, make sure to inform and discuss any general health conditions you have. Patients do not realize their overall physical health can have a significant impact on their oral health. To ensure your dentist has the complete picture, be sure to list all health conditions and medications you take, even if it’s something as simple as over-the-counter allergy medication or vitamins

While managing gastrointestinal conditions can be tough, there’s no reason your oral health has to suffer. Schedule an appointment with your Fioritto Family dentist today to help manage your oral health routine.