Psoriasis and Your Oral Health

February 28, 2021
Avatar for Kelley MingusKelley Mingus

If you suffer from a skin condition known as psoriasis, you may already know that the illness is fueled by inflammation. Inflammation can make many conditions worse, including diabetes, and heart disease. It can also be a side effect of many conditions, including gum disease. That’s why researchers are taking a closer look at the link between psoriasis and oral health.

A recent study found that persons with psoriasis were more likely to have gum disease and other inflammation than those without psoriasis. They also discovered that of those psoriasis sufferers with gum disease, the more severe their gum disease the more severe their psoriasis, and vice versa.

So, is psoriasis a dental issue? It certainly can be. Psoriasis can appear on the lips, around the mouth, and even inside the mouth, although it is generally found on the scalp, knees, and elbows. This can be both painful and embarrassing for psoriasis sufferers.

If psoriasis does fuel the inflammation that causes or contributes to gum disease, it can also cause bad breath, the loosening or loss of teeth, and the deterioration of the jaw bone which could eventually result in the loss of jaw bone and gum tissue. Though psoriasis has not been shown to increase the number of cavities a person has, it can change the pH of the saliva, increasing the risk of tooth enamel erosion, which could contribute to tooth decay and cavities.

So, what can you do if you suffer from psoriasis and want to protect your teeth? The answer is excellent oral hygiene. This includes attending regular dental checkups, monitoring and treating your psoriasis under the care of your doctor, and caring for your teeth at home by brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, and flossing regularly.

Psoriasis isn’t just a skin condition, it is a very serious condition that can have dangerous implications for your oral health. If you notice any changes in your skin, such as rough scaly patches on the scalp, knees, elbows, or around and inside the mouth, contact your physician. For oral health symptoms, contact Dr. Mingus to have your gums evaluated.