There are many aspects of immune disorders which are not well understood.  What doctors and scientists do know, however, is that the body’s immune system has the potential to attack healthy, normal cells. This is the case with Behcet’s disease.  

What is Behcet’s Disease?

Behcet’s disease, also referred to as Behcet’s syndrome, is an autoinflammatory disorder that usually manifests itself in the form of painful and recurrent mouth sores, genital sores, ocular inflammation, and less commonly skin lesions, gastrointestinal lesions, arthritis, or dysfunction in the lungs and central nervous system. It affects between 16,000 and 20,000 people each year in the United States.

What causes Behcet’s Disease?

It is believed that viral and bacterial pathogens, genetic and environmental factors all play a role in the disorder’s development.  As an autoinflammatory immune disorder, Behcet’s disease uses the part of the immune response that is more generalized and less specific, which is why these types of illnesses have the potential to harm the entire body.  This is the reason why those afflicted with Behcet’s can exhibit a large range of symptoms.

Many people confuse autoinflammatory with autoimmune disorders. Autoimmune disorders are caused by the learning or adaptive part of the immune system, and are very precise in nature. Autoimmmune disorders can lead to illnesses such as multiple sclerosis where the immune system eats away specifically at the coverings of nerve cells that assist nervous system communication.

What can be done to Treat Behcet’s Disease?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition, but many patients find that medical professionals can help reduce their discomfort. This includes prescribing medications and focusing on preventing future complications. Since it can affect all aspects of the body, those with Behcet’s disease should also visit their dentist to check any oral sores or discomfort.  For more information, contact Smiles Unlimited Dentistry, P.C.