People living with psoriasis are familiar its external symptoms, such as itchy, inflamed patches of dry, cracked skin. Recent research reveals psoriasis manifests itself in the mouth and is linked to poor oral health. Gum disease can also increase risk for psoriasis, offering more evidence to suggest a strong link between the mouth and body. It’s important to find a dentist who takes a whole-patient, health-centered approach to find the best treatment plans for your individual needs.
Psoriasis Symptoms in the Mouth
While psoriasis is most often thought of as an external skin problem, it can actually produce symptoms in the mouth. Oral tissue is similar to skin tissue, so people who see plaque on their skin may also see similar symptoms in the mouth. This plaque is different from the plaque that is created by oral bacteria.
Other oral symptoms of psoriasis include small red dots in the mouth, bleeding, oral lesions, and tooth decay. These can look similar to gum disease, but if they are associated with psoriasis, the symptoms will decrease in conjunction with psoriasis treatment as recommended by your primary care doctor or dermatologist.
Gum Disease Might Put You at Risk of Psoriasis
In addition to psoriasis symptoms in the mouth, gum disease and poor oral health may put people at risk of getting psoriasis. Both conditions activate an inflammation response, and there is a growing body of research to suggest that the inflammation related to gum disease may cause or contribute to a psoriasis diagnosis.
What Can I Do About It?
If you’ve been diagnosed with psoriasis, it’s important to follow the treatments recommended by your primary care physician or dermatologist. The symptoms in the mouth may diminish with treatment, meaning that a person with psoriasis and tooth decay may not need complex dental treatment.
To reduce risk of disease, make sure you follow a healthy lifestyle and maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day, especially at night to remove leftover food particles, will go a long way toward preventing gum disease. Flossing to remove plaque from between teeth will also help lower your risk of gum disease.
Dr. Brenda Paulen at ProudSmiles Dental in Atlanta, GA is proud to offer health-focused dental care that focuses on the whole patient. To schedule an individual consultation with Dr. Paulen, request an appointment online or call 404-418-7734 today!