Autoimmune connective tissue disorder manifestations: Implications for the dental provider

CTDs, although considered rare, are potentially life-threatening. Therefore, early diagnosis is essential if possible. (3 credits)

Reported incidence and prevalence of connective tissue disorders (CTDs) are variable due to different study methodologies, surveyed to be present in 0.015%–3% of the population. CTDs include systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), systemic sclerosis (SSc), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Sjögren’s syndrome (SS), inflammatory muscle diseases, and other overlap syndromes that cause inflammation, autoimmune processes, and/or systemic clinical phenotype involving several organs, as well as polymyositis and dermatomyositis. CTDs, although considered rare, are potentially life-threatening. Therefore, early diagnosis is essential if possible. Current classification criteria do not allow for convenient or proper diagnosis in all patients; nonetheless, they are supportive clinical tools to lead providers to proper diagnoses and to potentially save lives.

Educational objectives

  • Outline prevalence and incidence of connective tissue disorders and the implications regarding periodontal conditions.
  • Illustrate the systemic signs and symptoms of connective tissue disorders.
  • Synthesize cotherapeutic management of connective tissue disorders and periodontal disease.
  • Elaborate counseling strategies for dental providers to translate to patients with connective tissue disorders.

About the Authors

Katrina M. Sanders, MEd, BSDH, RDH, RF, is a clinical dental hygienist, author, and international speaker. She is a periodontal hygienist and serves as the clinical liaison to Hygiene Excellence and Innovation for AZPerio. Known as the “Dental Resultant,” Katrina consults hygiene departments to optimize metrics and patient excellence. She is the founder, CEO, and keynote speaker for Sanders Board Preparatory, a published author with Dentaltown and Today’s RDH, a columnist and advisory board member for Modern Hygienist and Dental Academy of Continuing Education, and brand ambassador for Dimensions of Dental Hygiene.

Elizabeth A. Sanders, DPM, FACFAS, DABPM, is a foot and ankle surgeon in Boston, Massachusetts, serving as assistant professor of surgery at Boston University School of Medicine. She completed surgical residency at Boston Medical Center, a fellowship in foot and ankle advanced reconstructive surgery in Ohio, and a mini-fellowship in external fixation at the Russian Ilizarov Scientific Center in Kurgan, Russia. She has given numerous lectures and presentations on innovative surgical techniques emphasizing limb salvage. Her research interests included reconstructive surgery, multidisciplinary medicine, and medical education.

Mark J. Mendeszoon, DPM, FACFAS, DABPM, is a foot and ankle surgeon practicing at Precision Orthopaedic Specialties in Chardon, Ohio. He is the director of the Advanced Foot and Ankle Fellowship in Ohio, clinical professor at Ohio University Heritage Medical School, sports medicine director at Kent State, and assistant professor at Iowa State University. He lectures nationally and internationally, has been published in several medical journals, and is a contributor to many health and wellness magazines including Men’s Health. He also owns Achilles Running Shop in Ohio and Pennsylvania, the only known physician-owned specialty running store in the country.

Quick Access Code: 22221
Photo credit: 106329137 © Ivan Shidlovski |

Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 1 Lesson
  • 1 Test
  • Course Certificate
  • CE credit(s): 3

    Course Type: Written

    Published Date: June 2024

    This continuing education (CE) activity was developed by Endeavor Business Media with no commercial support.

    This course was written for dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, from novice to skilled.

    Educational methods: This course is a self-instructional journal and web activity.

    Provider disclosure: Endeavor Business Media neither has a leadership position nor a commercial interest in any products or services discussed or shared in this educational activity. No manufacturer or third party had any input in the development of the course content.

    Requirements for successful completion: To obtain 3 CE credits for this educational activity, you must pay the required fee, review the material, complete the course evaluation, and obtain an exam score of 70% or higher.

    CE planner disclosure: Laura Winfield, Endeavor Business Media dental group CE coordinator, neither has a leadership nor commercial interest with the products or services discussed in this educational activity. Ms. Winfield can be reached at

    Educational disclaimer: Completing a single continuing education course does not provide enough information to result in the participant being an expert in the field related to the course topic. It is a combination of many educational courses and clinical experience that allows the participant to develop skills and expertise.

    Image authenticity statement: The images in this educational activity have not been altered.

    Scientific integrity statement: Information shared in this CE course is developed from clinical research and represents the most current information available from evidence-based dentistry.

    Known benefits and limitations of the data: The information presented in this educational activity is derived from the data and information contained in the reference section.

    Registration: The cost of this CE course is $39.00 for 3 CE credits.

    Cancellation and refund policy: Any participant who is not 100% satisfied with this course can request a full refund by contacting Endeavor Business Media in writing.

    Provider information:

    Dental Board of California: Provider RP5933. Course registration number CA code: 03-5933-22221. Expires May 31, 2027. “This course meets the Dental Board of California’s requirements for 3 units of continuing education.”


    Endeavor Business Media is a nationally approved PACE program provider for FAGD/MAGD credit.
    Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement.
    11/1/2022 to 10/31/2024.
    Provider ID# 320452
    AGD code: 149, 737


    Endeavor Business Media is designated as an approved Provider by the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, Inc. #AADHPNW (January 1, 2022–December 31, 2024). Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial Board of Dentistry. Licensee should maintain this document in the event of an audit. AADH code: AADHEBM-190-6-2024-3


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