Dental professionals can provide a more detailed assessment of autoimmune diseases by taking certain precautions. This includes both administering dental hygiene interventions to reduce the risk of oral infections and restore health, as well as educating patients on the relationship between their autoimmune disease, medical treatment, and oral health. In some cases, patients may require additional care from an oral specialist if initial treatment protocols do not produce the desired results. Physicians should consider recommending products that offer the best possible outcomes for the treatment of biofilm, tooth decay, and xerostomia. Table 3 provides examples of product considerations that may be useful.6,7 Dental hygienists can protect their patients with autoimmune diseases by detecting immune system dysfunction and providing safe and effective treatment.
We can help you maintain your dental health while you seek treatment for an autoimmune disease. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene is a monthly peer-reviewed journal that connects practicing dental hygienists with leading educators and researchers. In addition, once dental hygiene services have been provided during the initial implementation, the patient must return for a 6-week reevaluation visit to assess treatment outcomes and determine if any additional intervention is necessary. JoAnn Gurenlian, RDH, MS, PhD, AFAAOM, is director of education and research at the American Association of Dental Hygienists and professor emeritus in the Department of Dental Hygiene at ISU. It is important to take special care of your dental health if you have an autoimmune disease.