Simple Steps To Better Dental Health
space placeholder
Featuring consumer information from Columbia School of Dental & Oral Surgery
Oral Health Made Simple: Your Prescription For Knowledge
Small BoxAll About Cavities
Small BoxBrushing and Flossing
Small BoxFluoride
Small BoxMouth-Healthy Eating
Small BoxSealants
Small BoxTaking Care of Your Teeth
Small BoxTobacco
Small BoxYour Dental Visit
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxBad Breath
Small BoxCavities
Small BoxCold Sores
Small BoxDry Mouth
Small BoxImpacted Tooth
Small BoxSensitive Teeth
Small BoxTMJ
Small BoxTooth Discoloration
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxCrowns
Small BoxDentures
Small BoxFillings: The Basics
Small BoxGum Surgery
Small BoxImplants
Small BoxRoot Canal Treatment
Small BoxScaling and Root Planing
Small BoxWhitening
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxControlling Pain
Small BoxCosmetic Dentistry
Small BoxEmergencies
Small BoxFill, Repair, Replace
Small BoxKids And Teens
Small BoxOral Health and Your Body
Small BoxOrthodontics
Small BoxPeriodontics
Small BoxSeniors
Small BoxMORE
Step 1 Prevent ProblemsSimplestepsPrevent Problems
Step 2 Understand ConditionsSimplestepsUnderstand Conditions
Step 3 Explore TreatmentsSimplestepsExplore Treatments

go to Interactive Tools go to Parents' Guide go to Dental Drugs go to Ask The Dentist

Back to Conditions
New reviewed by Columbia banner
Pemphigoid and Pemphigus

space placeholder
space placeholder.What Is It?.
space placeholder.Symptoms.
space placeholder.Diagnosis.
space placeholder.Expected Duration.
space placeholder.Prevention.
space placeholder.Treatment.
space placeholder.When To Call a Professional.
space placeholder.Prognosis.
space placeholder.Additional Info.
space placeholder..
space placeholder

space placeholder
space placeholder.What Is It?
space placeholder

Pemphigoid and pemphigus are similar diseases. Both are rare and both are serious diseases that need to be followed carefully. They are caused by the body's immune system not working properly.

Both diseases cause mouth blisters that break easily, and then form painful sores (ulcers). In about half of all cases, blisters and ulcers develop later on the skin, too. Sores on the skin may come and go.

Pemphigus is a rare disease. It occurs mostly in middle-aged and older people, but may occur at any age. There are several types of pemphigus. The most common is pemphigus vulgaris, which makes up 80% of all pemphigus cases. It is seen most often in people of Mediterranean descent and in Eastern European Jews. However, it can affect people of all races and cultures.

There are also several types of pemphigoid. The oral form is known as mucus membrane pemphigoid. It is most common in women between ages 40 and 70. There are no other known risk factors for pemphigoid.

space placeholder
space placeholder.Symptoms
space placeholder

The most common symptom of both oral pemphigus and oral pemphigoid is blisters in the mouth. They break and become painful ulcers. The ulcers can last for long periods of time. As some heal, others may develop.

People with pemphigus often develop these sores first in the throat or mouth. The sores can occur anywhere in the mouth. People with pemphigoid tend to have sores only on their gums. Their sores are flat and red, and peel easily.

space placeholder
space placeholder.Diagnosis
space placeholder

To diagnose pemphigus and pemphigoid, your doctor will ask you for a complete medical history. Then you will receive a physical exam, blood tests and a biopsy of the affected area. First, the area is numbed with a local anesthetic. Then the doctor removes a small piece of tissue, which will be examined under a microscope. Information from the biopsy can show if you have pemphigoid, pemphigus or some other condition.

space placeholder
space placeholder.Expected Duration
space placeholder

Pemphigus and pemphigoid cannot be cured. Medicines can control the sores and keep them from appearing.

space placeholder
space placeholder.Prevention
space placeholder

There is no way to prevent pemphigus or pemphigoid.

space placeholder
space placeholder.Treatment
space placeholder

People with pemphigus are treated by suppressing the immune system. This is done with steroids and other medicines. These medicines help control the sores, but they can have significant side effects. Your doctor will discuss the side effects with you.

People with pemphigoid also may be given steroids. Other medicines can be given if steroids don't work. These include dapsone, tetracycline (sold under many brand names) and nicotinamide (a form of niacin).

space placeholder
space placeholder.When To Call a Professional
space placeholder

If you have any of these symptoms and they do not go away after three to seven days, call your doctor.
  • Sores or blisters on your skin or in your mouth
  • Peeling gums
  • Eye irritation
  • Sore throat
  • Painful mouth sores that make it hard to eat (this may lead to weight loss)

If you have been diagnosed with pemphigus or pemphigoid in the past, call your doctor if your condition has changed.

space placeholder
space placeholder.Prognosis
space placeholder

Pemphigus and pemphigoid are long-term diseases. They are not cured, but they usually can be controlled. In people with oral pemphigoid, the sores often become only a nuisance. Pemphigus vulgaris, however, is potentially life threatening. In the past, pemphigus vulgaris could lead to whole-body infections and/or chemical imbalances in the blood. These problems can be fatal. Today, pemphigus can be better controlled and rarely causes deaths.

However, complications can still occur because of the high doses of some medicines used to control the sores. It is very important that you inform all health care professionals of all the medicines you take. This should include over-the-counter medicines and "natural" medicines and vitamins. All of these can affect your health.

space placeholder
space placeholder.Additional Info
space placeholder

The International Pemphigus and Pemphigoid Foundation
2701 Cottage Way, #16
Sacramento, CA 95825
Phone: 916-922-1298
Toll-free: 1-866-628-1298
Fax: 916-922-1458

printer friendly format option iconPrinter-friendly version     
printer friendly format option iconPrinter-friendly version
Powered by Aetna Dental Plans

© 2002-2016 Aetna, Inc. All rights reserved. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before starting a new fitness regimen. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions. External website links provided on this site are meant for convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement. These external links open in a different window.