Biotherapy and oral complications in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Biotherapy drugs can inhibit key factors that cause inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune conditions. 
These drugs include Rituximab, one of the first biotherapies to be approved for RA, Infliximab, Etanercept and Abatacept.

Studies have shown that people being treated with biotherapies can have oral complications. These side effects obviously vary greatly depending on the dosage amount, the type of product and the way they are administered. If dentists are aware of these biotherapy agents and the possible side effects then they can be very helpful in arresting and preventing further damage and educating the patient.

The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis focuses on the suppression of immune system with the help of biotherapy agents. The oral complications caused by these agents include oral thrush, metallic taste, soreness and burning sensation of tongue, difficulty swallowing, cold sores on lips, xerostomia, ulcers, gingival bleeding, oral pain, white spots or patches, itching of lips and tongue, halitosis, burning of lips, pain in the jaw, and swelling in glands. Sharoot Malik and Sumaiya Kasbati, Dentistry iQ

Dentistry iQ
American Nurse Today 
NCBI US National Library of Medicine

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