Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a multisystem disease of unknown aetiology characterised by microangiopathy, dysregulated immune function and tissue remodelling, which commonly involves the oral cavity. Orofacial manifestations of SSc contribute greatly to overall disease burden and yet are regularly overlooked and under-treated. This may reflect a pre-occupation amongst rheumatology clinicians on potentially life-threatening internal organ involvement, but is also a consequence of insufficient engagement between rheumatologists and dental professionals. A high proportion of SSc patients report difficulty accessing a dentist with knowledge of the disease and there is recognition amongst dentists that this could impact negatively on patient care. This review shall describe the clinical features and burden of orofacial manifestations of SSc and the management of such problems. The case is made for greater collaborative working between rheumatologists and dental professionals with an interest in SSc in both the research and clinical setting.
- Journal Article