What is Sickle Cell Disease?
Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder in which red blood cells may become sickle-shaped and harden. For a baby to be born with sickle cell disease, both parents must carry a sickle cell trait. Sickle cell disease is not contagious, but there is no universal cure.
Sickle cell disease is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States, affecting 70,000 to 80,000 Americans. The disease is estimated to occur in 1 in 500 African Americans and 1 in 1,000 to 1,400 Hispanic Americans. Source CT.Gov/DPH
Most people with the sickle cell trait do not have any health problems caused by sickle cell trait and live a normal life. For those who have sickle cell disease symptoms usually begin in early childhood. Characteristic features of this disorder include a low number of red blood cells (anemia), repeated infections, and periodic episodes of pain. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person. Some people have mild symptoms, while others are frequently hospitalized for more serious complications.
Sickle Cell and Oral Health
The Connection between Sickle Cell and Oral Health
- Sickle cell disease causes problems with the immune system.
- This results in being more prone to infections including infections of the mouth.
- Good oral health can help people with sickle cell disease avoid dental problems and the complications that can result from them.
If you are a HUSKY Health member and have Sickle Cell Disease, or know someone challenged by Sickle Cell Disease, read more by clicking on our Key Links and Contacts section. If you or a loved one has Sickle Cell, let’s help you find a dentist to be part of your care team and to reduce your risk for oral infection.
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