Teeth problems

I have 2nd Raynauds, ANA+ and positive nail fold capillary test. In the last year I have had 3 of my back teeth break right through the root. In the past I have had one tooth that for no known reason destroyed its own root!

The dentist has suggested (a very expensive) dental implant - do these cause problems in people with autoimmune problems?

Is there a link between teeth problems and autoimmune diseases??


27 Replies

  • The issue with the teeth is quite common. An associated disease that can go with Raynauds is Sjrogens syndrome. This is an auto immune disease that limits the moisture your body can produce. Issues can be dry eyes, nasal infections, lack of saliva, problems during sex and chest pains on inhalation.

    The lack of saliva results in extensive tooth decay. There are saliva substitutes but they never last long. Only thing I have been able to do is drink lots of fluids and avoid sugary things.

  • Thanks I will mention my teeth at my next check up at the hospital.

  • You might consider asking for a referral to a dental hospital, I have Sclero and Sjogrens and find that the Dental Hospital in Leeds are always very helpful

  • I have started having problems with my teeth, 15 years since diagnosis ! I am trying my hardest to save a back molar which the dentist wanted to pull out in November ! I always have a bottle of water with me as my mouth gets so dry ! I hpoe you have good results sandraj, and thanks for the advice re the dental hospital yorky ! I may check that out !! happy smiling folks

  • I have had Raynauds over 20 years and only now have started with tooth problems. I had a clear nail fold capillary test about 4 years ago, but when they repeated it last October it is now showing problems (I cant remember what they said they were ... morph something I think) so as I have had teeth problems in the last year too - I wondered if there was something else going on :(

  • All the above comments are very sound. Implants are very effective when they work, but very expensive and the initial process where the implant becomes bonded to the bone is very sensitive eg smokers are usually excluded because there is a high rejection rate. I think a second opinion from the dental hospital is strongly to be recommended in your case.

    John - (retired dentist)

  • Hi thanks for the dental advice, the dentist said a bridge might be a better idea than an implant - any thoughts on that?

  • I also have problems with my teeth and with a root. I now have a small plate (which I hate) but have been referred to the dental hospital in Leeds - my appointment is next week. I was told by my dentist that a bridge wouldn't work as the teeth are all a bit loose due to medication (steroids) and the sclerodrma, so wouldn't hold onto the tooth next to the gap.

    Scleroderma seems to affect everything, which gets me down sometimes, but the alternative is to give up, which isn't an option, is it?

  • I have all the indicators for an autoimmune disease but they havent found it yet, so everything that goes wrong they check and check and check ..... they are very good at the hospital, no complaints :)

    Keep smiling :) Isnt it good that we can all chat about these things ...... were would we be without internet!

  • Good luck, and keep us informed. Yes, the internet can be a pain, but has its advantages!

  • Thanks, I quite agree about internet. But as we moved to Southern Spain 11 years ago (to help my Raynauds) it has been a godsend in keeping in touch with the family!

  • I have secondary Raynaud's & Scleroderma and find that my front teeth have now become loose. My Rheumatologist said it was the SSC which had caused it but that doesn't stop me worrying about what to do when they do fall out! Especially since they are at the front.

  • Oh that must be worse with them being at the front, the one they pulled out the other day was at least a back one.

  • I feel your pain with the teeth problems. I was diagnosed with Limited Scleroderma 20 years ago, that was right after my husband died of cancer. I have sjogrins, raynauds and I am starting the teeth problems. I am really sorry for all you are going through. This disease is horrible with all the different problems that can affect a person.

  • Have had scleroderma for 12 years, all my teeth are either filled or pulled.I have 2 partials,to work in my small mouth is a horror for my dentist. This past fall I had 9 pulled and another one filled,he won't put me to sleep so believe me I take very good care of the teeth I have. Good Luck!!

  • I also have scleroderma and sjorgrens - already had one of my front teeth out and have a denture (which I hate) and now the dental hosp have sent a letter to my dentist saying that my bridge has failed - its loose and I know it is - and she advises that I have 5 of the front out and have a denture. I would be a very good candidate for implants but dont think the NHS will fund this project. So, as they are so expensive it will have to be a denture for the front teeth. why are these only for those that can afford it - seems so unfair sometimes. Anyway, we all must carry on the best we can as we are all in the same boat .. much love to all x

  • I know exactly how you feel I dread dentures. But as you say we all have to keep cheerful and manage the best we can !

  • Hello, I have Sjogrens and I cannot imagine what it would be like to have dentures in my mouth. Surely with your condition Dentures would be very bad for your mouth as you may get ulcers and difficulty with healing.Does you dentist fully understand your problems?

    We do not have a dental hospital in my area but there a jaw surgeons my local hospital. Perhaps you could see someone like that if you cannot get to a Dental Hospital. Ask you Dentist for a referal.

    I found the article below on the internet about NHS implants. I would think you should be a special case in your circumstances.

    Can I get any help for dental implants from the NHS?

    The NHS doesn’t usually pay for dental implant treatment although there are exceptions to this. They will pay for implants if the patient shows that there is a clear medical need. In other words, they will not pay for something which you have chosen to have for lifestyle reasons.

    If you require implants because of an accident or injury; a congenital defect or ill fitting dentures then the NHS may pay but you need to check this with your dentist.

    The NHS had a limited budget and because so many demands are made on it they tend to prioritise treatment according to need and benefits. If you can demonstrate that this procedure will result in a major benefit for you then you may be one of the lucky ones!

    If you can’t obtain NHS funding then your options include approaching a dental school to see if they will take you on as a patient, or going ‘private’.

    In the latter case this means paying for the treatment yourself. If this is difficult then many clinics do have their own finance scheme which allows you to pay for your treatment via a series of instalments.

    Another option is a specialist dental loan, which is comparable to other types of loan schemes. Speak to your dentist about this.

    Good luck with your problem,


  • Thanks that is a great help :)

  • My heartfelt sympathies for all of you. I have had Scleroderma since I was 26, I am now 62. About 5 years ago I realized all of my teeth felt loose. I always took care of my teeth, but it was determined that it was my disease causing my dental problem. I had all of my teeth pulled and full dentures. The teeth are small, white and pretty, but my mouth is getting smaller and though they aren't uncomfortable, sometimes I think maybe they are too big. I just think this is just another cross to bear as Scleroderma doesn't discriminate. I also had to pay all the cost as I have no dental insurance. 8,000.00 Ouch!

    Good Luck to us all!!


  • At least we have this forum to help support each other :)

  • Sorry meant to say sorry about your teeth ....... and the cost!! Good luck to you too.

  • ive had loads of problems with my teeth i didnt know about the the teeth issue with raynauds thanks for posting

  • My dentist keeps telling me I have severe bone erosion and I'm sure it's to do with all my Rheumatology problems. I was amazed when I was shown an xray of my teeth and gums knowing how much care I take of my teeth. I have lovely looking white teeth but for the past five or so years some have become a little loose. I am terrified of having to have dentures.

    I make sure to follow the advice of the dentist and Dental Hygenist but some of the products recommended are very expensive and not available on free prescription. The Hygenist charges £45.00 a time as the dentist no longer do the cleaning of teeth.

    I had one tooth removed from one side of my mouth. My dentist told me it would cost me over £600.00 for an implant. He alway paints a very gloomy picture of my teeth and gums and I wonder sometimes if the situation is as bleak as he makes out. Hmmm!

    I would say definitely there is a link to the autoimmune situation and not poor dental hygene.

    All the best,


  • I've had a lot of tooth problems and have a small, dry mouth. Until reading this, I had no idea it could be connected to Raynauds!

    I also dreaded having a denture, but it is actually not so bad!!

  • There is no link that I am aware of. Teeth break and roots resorb on healthy people too. I would recommend an Implant. There are very few contraindications for an implant, so you should discuss this with the surgeon.

  • I am having jaw problems and I am wondering if this is linked to my Scleroderma and Raynauds etc. I am curious to your answer

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