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Concerns

When was your SLE diagnosed?

Do you have any associated diseases or disorders?

Diseases and conditions associated with SLE

What causes a flare-up of your disease?

How is your SLE being treated?

What types of therapy are you receiving?

When was your SLE diagnosed?

A diagnosis is made when at least four of the following 11 criteria are present:
- malar (over the cheeks of the face) “butterfly” rash,
- discoid skin rash (patchy redness with hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation that can cause scarring),
- photosensitivity (skin rash in reaction to sunlight ultraviolet light exposure),
- aphthous ulcers (spontaneous ulcers of the lining of the mouth, nose, or throat),
- arthritis (two or more swollen, tender joints of the extremities),
- pleuritis or pericarditis (inflammation of the lining tissue around the heart or lungs, usually associated with chest pain upon breathing or changes of body position),
- kidney abnormalities (abnormal amounts of urine protein or clumps of cellular elements called casts detectable with a urinalysis),
- brain irritation (manifested by seizures convulsions and/or psychosis),
- blood-count abnormalities (low counts of white or red blood cells, or platelets, on routine blood testing),
- immunologic disorder (abnormal immune tests include anti-DNA or anti-Sm (Smith) antibodies, falsely positive blood test for syphilis, anticardiolipin antibodies, lupus anticoagulant, or positive LE prep test), and
- antinuclear antibody (positive ANA antibody testing antinuclear antibodies in the blood).

The length of time since diagnosis may be suggestive of possible increased severity of associated disorders. Long-term therapy for SLE and accompanying conditions may also be associated with complications.

Do you have any associated diseases or disorders?

SLE is a multisystem progressive disease. SLE is associated with numerous debilitating systemic diseases and disorders (see below) with high morbidity and mortality, which need to be recognized and addressed.

Oral conditions are also associated with a high degree of morbidity.

Diseases and conditions associated with SLE:

What causes a flare-up of your disease?

Flare-ups, or exacerbations, of a patient’s SLE may be caused by various triggers, including stress and oral infections.

Patients’ awareness of such events may identify, and prevent, flare-ups associated with dental care.

How is your SLE being treated?

Treatment for SLE usually consists of immunosuppressive therapy. This type of therapy is associated with severe complications, such as adrenal suppression and susceptibility to opportunistic infections.

What types of therapy are you receiving?

Apart from treatment to control the SLE, therapy for accompanying diseases and conditions are also instituted. This may include renal dialysis, neuropsychiatric therapy, and prevention and treatment of ischemic heart disease.

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