Growing research suggests that psoriasis may be linked to one’s oral health.
For many years, research has shown a relevant link between general and oral health, with issues like gum disease being closely connected to a number of other conditions, including diabetes and other cardiovascular problems. More recent studies suggest that there may be a connection between one’s oral health and psoriasis, a condition that is often associated with inflammation of the skin. So, how are these issues linked? And what you can do if you are suffering from both dental disease and psoriasis?
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin disease that usually causes an itchy rash and/or scaly patches of skin. The ailment can affect many areas of the body. It commonly occurs on the knees, elbows and scalp. The issue is fairly common, and is considered a chronic condition. In many cases, it causes considerable pain and discomfort. Flare-ups can be triggered by a number of factors, including certain medications, infections and injuries like cuts and burns.
How does psoriasis affect your oral health?
Although the disease usually occurs on areas of skin on the scalp, knees, and elbows, the truth is that it can actually affect all parts of the body, including the mouth. In this case, the disease is known as oral psoriasis. Some of the symptoms associated with oral psoriasis include itchy patches on the lips and tongue, as well as other surfaces of the mouth. The disease does not present directly on the surface of the teeth, but it can cause a range of issues in the mouth, which can, over time, lead to problems like tooth decay and loose teeth.
Studies also suggest that because of the inflammation commonly associated with psoriasis, there may be a link between the condition and other dental problems, such as gum disease and bad breath. In fact, individuals who have psoriasis are at higher risk of developing gum disease.
What can you do to maintain a healthy smile?
If you have psoriasis and are at a higher risk of developing dental issues like gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath, it is very important that you take care of your teeth and gums. Let your dentist know about your situation, and remember to go for regular dental check-ups and cleans. Everyone can benefit from teeth cleaning twice a year. If you are particularly prone to dental disease, you might consider seeing your dentist more frequently.
It is essential that you practice proper oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. It is also advisable that you floss at least once daily.
Try to be mindful of your diet — acidic foods and drinks can increase your risk of oral health problems and should be enjoyed in moderation only.
How can we help?
If you have noticed any oral health issues, such as swollen and tender gums, persistent bad breath, loose teeth or recurring mouth sores, we encourage you to come in and see us. In fact, if you have any concerns related to the condition of your smile, please don’t hesitate to arrange an appointment so that we can help you resolve any problems as soon as possible.
We also urge all of our patients to come in for routine check-ups and cleans on a regular basis. Our team understands that there is an important connection between the mouth and the rest of the body and loves to help our patients maintain overall wellness in the long-term.
At City Smiles, we offer a comprehensive range of dental services, including general, cosmetic and restorative treatments. To find out more about what we do, please have a look here. To make an appointment at City Smiles in Melbourne, give us a call at 03 9654 6979 or contact us here.