facial and dental problems
People with scleroderma may experience a general tightening of skin over the face. The opening of the mouth may be decreased in size (microstomia or small mouth), making lip and mouth movements as well as oral hygiene difficult.
The best approach to treatment is by means of facial grimacing and mouth stretching exercises, including the use of oral augmentation props inserted between the upper and lower teeth. When doing these exercises, be careful to avoid further damage, especially to the jaw bone and teeth. Particular care is advisable in using augmentation devices. Consult with your dentist before starting any exercises or using any augmentation device.
Preventive dental care including regular flossing and brushing of the teeth and gums is very important, as are regular dental visits for oral health and for the early detection and prompt correction of any abnormalities. The dentist also can recommend a good oral hygiene program. Floss holders, pump toothpaste tubes and built-up handles on toothbrushes can help people with hand impairment. (These measures are equally important for those with Sjögren Syndrome.)