Background Although the orofacial manifestations are commonly reported among patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), only few studies have adequately addressed the issue of oral health-related quality of life (QoL) in such pathobiological settings.
Objectives The aim was to characterize the oral health status (OHS) of adults with SSc and to compare with the general population.
Methods A cross-sectional prospective observational study in 37 consecutive SSc in a EUSTAR cohort (EUSTAR 162 center) and 37 gender and age-matched controls without SSc.
A standardized oral exam meaning OHS (periodontal, dental, mucosal and microbial), oral health-related behaviors and oral HRQoL (Oral Health Impact Profile, OHIP) were evaluated in all recruited individuals, while oral manifestations such as size of oral aperture, oral dryness, manual dexterity for oral hygiene and HRQoL only in SSc.
Multivariable regression analysis was done to evaluate association between SSc, oral abnormalities, oral health status and QoL.
Results Overall, SSc had significantly reduced oral HRQoL compared with controls (p<0.05).
We demonstrated lower resting salivary flow rates (p<0.05) and pH (p<0.05), reduced maximal mouth opening (p<0.05), smaller interincisal distance (p<0.05) in SSc group as compared to their controls. Moreover, despite comparable oral health-related behaviors (e.g. same level of daily tooth-brushing), the majority of SSc experienced caries (p<0.05) and presented with more periodontal disease (p<0.05) comprising periodontal pockets (pocket depth PD>3 mm) (p<0.05), clinical attachment level (CAL) ≥5.5 mm (p<0.05).
Finally, SSc was documented as a significant independent predictor of OHIP, missing teeth, periodontal disease, interincisal distances as shown by multivariate regression (p<0.05).
Conclusions SSc patients are at risk to develop impaired oral health and oral HRQoL compared with the general population.
Disclosure of Interest None declared