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Sjogren's Syndrome Support

The teeth are starting to go

Not such a new topic for so many of us, but I’m facing a bit of an issue and won’t have professional answers for awhile- thought you guys might have some insight, suggestions and such.

At first it was a lower molar to be removed about every other year. We caught one in time (hahahaha) and took care of the cavity. 6 months later I woke to the feeling of pieces of tooth in my mouth. My insurance had just ended so I had to wait a few months to get into a new dentist. Honestly the pain wasn’t too bad, mostly no sharp edges so I didn’t rush. In October though I touch a front tooth with my tongue (normal activity) and most of my tooth fell out! So, one expensive dentist appointment later and two fully extracted teeth, no other detected problems. Ah, Thanksgiving, nice fall off the bone turkey, some creamy mashed potatoes and a weird feeling…part of my large front tooth began just sliding off on my finger until a bit more than half of it was gone. Got a coupon in the mail that would cover a new set of dental x rays at a new dentist- appointment set… questions how bad is this tooth, can we save it? Answer- it can’t be saved and here’s some great news… three more need to be removed on the bottom and I’ve developed 4 new cavities right next to the teeth that need to go. Oh, I could do root canals, but I can’t afford it- extraction is cheaper especially with no insurance- bye bye teeth.

There’s a dental school near by, they have two nights a month where they do work really cheap for those of us in between insurance plans. My plan is to have the 4 teeth removed (ouch ouch ouch)…but what about those cavities? Between Sjogrens and the medications I take for other things my teeth are just dissolving (two dentists have told me this). I’m not too sure about bothering to fix those cavities on the bottom teeth. Here’s the thing, I only have 10 bottom teeth, I’ll soon be down to 7 and the cavities are on the bottoms of the two tiny teeth right in front. I’m thinking of begging the dentist to just remove them so I can have a nice partial for a couple of years (odds are the rest on the bottom are going to go within the next couple of years). Am I completely nuts to suggest having the 2 with cavities pulled? Should I beg them to just remove all the bottom ones so that I don’t have to deal with shattered teeth, infections and extra pain? I’ve basically lost 6 teeth in 6 months, my mother’s and grandmother’s (both with same illnesses that I have and not even with the medications) had their teeth dissolve the same way right about my age. Advice, suggestions, personal stories…all comments welcomed.

Too bad medical insurance won’t cover this, dentists and doctors agree I take care of my teeth very well, it’s not hygiene it’s illness.

My apologies for such a long question and for such a sad topic on xmas- but it’s been really on my mind and just had to reach out before I headed off to bed. If you celebrate I hope you have a Merry one, if it’s cold out stay warm, take care and know love deep within.

That stinks.

If you were considering removing completely healthy teeth it sounds like a bad idea. But you’ve clearly got a lot going wrong, and you can see a clear pattern. I would probably be considering the same, if only to alleviate the anxiety about when those teeth are going to self destruct.

Rae, are you sure medical won’t cover it? Did you call and ask your medical insurance about it? Do you have a MEDICAL Dx for what’s happening from a doctor (not a dentist).

azurelle

I’ll call and ask one of my doctors for a medical dx, have only had 2 dentists say this is what is going on. As for my insurance I’ll contact them as soon as I have a doctor say so. I just know I’ve read a lot and when I’ve mentioned my teeth to my doctors they like to refer to dentists (it’s tooth related not _____ field related, in other words: pass the buck). Thanks for the suggestion- I’ll update as soon as I know more. Thank you.

Oh yes, removing perfectly healthy teeth is usually a bad idea…heck we’re actually encouraged to keep the badly damaged ones as they really are what is best for your particular mouth. Thanks for the response and being understanding about how my brain is thinking. It’s still a few weeks before I’ll be able to see a dentist, but I’ll let everyone know what the final verdict turns out to be. Thanks for responding.

A quick google search gave me this:

Despite having excellent oral hygiene, individuals with Sjögren’s syndrome have elevated levels of dental caries, along with the loss of many teeth , early in the disease.

So it seems like you should be able to get a medical Dx for the issue and then appeal to have major medical cover the problems.

azurelle

There are many medical articles supporting that the dental side is medically related. There are several posts online from individuals who have attempted to get their insurances to cover it with very well written articles and notes from their physicians. Most are denied- I’ve heard rumor that some have been successful. I have written to my rheumatologist (email) and asked for her to write a letter- I can only hope she agrees and writes a powerful one. Thanks for looking up the quote… its not just early in the disease, it continues…I think I’m getting nailed currently because I had to stop my Pilocarpine for 2 years (not saying these teeth wouldn’t have cracked at some point, but I feel this sped up the process). Also, about 3 months ago I began taking Methotrexate (am still taking Hydroxychloroquine), this may have affected my teeth as well.

I’m on the following:
Alprazolam/ Aspirin/ Clopidogrel/ Diclofenac/ Gabapentin/ Hydrocodone/ Hydroxychloroquine/ Methotrexate/ Nifedical/ Pilocarpine/ Rosuvastatin/ Zolpidem/ Have been receiving the spinal epidurals for the past 2 months as well/ got the Nexplanon implant (having that removed)/ Nitroglycerin Patch as needed/ Biotene products/ Eye drops/ B12/ D3/ Folic Acid and I also eat food. :slight_smile:

Illnesses plus these meds haven’t done my teeth any favors. I’m fairly certain my doctor(s) should be able to write some pretty detailed letters to the insurance company. Figured I’d at least get the one tooth taken care of, though waiting on the other 3 knowing at any moment they could go is not something I’m certain my nerves can handle.

“I woke to the feeling of pieces of tooth in my mouth”/

This is happening to me right now. I have a lot of fillings from years ago and over the years. I’m 59 now, so these old fillings are starting to call out. My dentist wants to put crowns on a lot of my teeth. Very expensive, but my insurance will cover about half of it. I’m worried this will a waste of my time. Anyone have crowns that have been worth the cost? Thank you.

I would get second opinion before moving to crowns. I have had several old fillings replaced with new filling (not crowns). Fillings only last so long and can be replaced with new fillings.

azurelle

I won’t bother with crowns personally. First there’s the cost, but with my teeth just the process of shaving the tooth down would most likely cause it to shatter. During filling once I had a tooth crack further, another time (with fair warning it could happen) the tooth shattered. That’s just how my teeth are. If you’re teeth are in relatively good condition (nice and strong) you might want to seriously consider crowns. Research how the procedure is done. I also fully agree with the Mod- get a second opinion, might just be able to get new fillings.

Talk about teeth starting to go, Almost all of my left lower teeth have been extracted, same for my upper right. I need to go to the dental clinic soon to have what’s left of two teeth extracted, maybe another tooth evaluated, can that be saved or does that have to ‘go’? I am not looking forward to going, why I am procrastinating.

The dentist I had before told me I have gum line cavities, Also my last test for gum recession, what might help prevent more gum recession, my dentist suggested a water pik. I ‘love’ my water pik. I use the gentle pressure tip, and what flossing does not remove, the gentle water spray does. I use an electric toothbrush with a round head. Making this a routine ‘habit’, twice a day, before breakfast and after dinner, my mouth feels so clean and healthy. Also, i used to get ‘that’ yeast infection on my tongue, swish and spit that yellow stuff (taste???). I haven’t had a yeast infection since adding the water pik treatment to my oral care.

My teeth are brittle, I bit into a sandwich, felt something funny, round and hard, chewing the bread and sandwich meat. Part of a tooth.

I really need to stop procrastinating and call for a dental appointment.