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When Diseases Cause Oral Complications

Potential Warning Signs

We have come a long way in the treatment of serious, life-threatening systemic diseases. Part and parcel of healing more aggressive diseases are—more aggressive therapies. And sometimes as a result of forceful care, complications arise that demand attention of their own: oral problems.

When an individual is very sick, nutrition becomes more important than ever. Oral problems can interfere with normal function—eating, speaking, swallowing—just when the patient needs it most. Early evaluation by a dentist can help preserve a patient’s oral health. So please, be aware of the possibility of oral disorders in those you care for and care about.

If You Have: Be Concerned About:
Leukemia Red or tender tissue, bleeding gums, white patches, ulcers
HIV Fungal infections, gum infection problems, dry mouth, tumors, white patches on tongue
Rheumatoid Arthritis Tooth loss, gum inflammation, changes in salivary function
Breast Cancer Ulcers, fungal infection
Parkinson’s Disease Tooth loss, soreness, problems with lips and cheeks, change in taste, craving for sweets

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