Psoriasis-affected people face an increased risk of gum disease (periodontitis), according to research. A study conducted in Norway looked at 50 people with moderate to severe psoriasis and compared them to 121 people without the skin condition.
Each participant underwent an oral exam, and the researchers found that periodontitis was more prevalent among those with psoriasis. Furthermore, loss of the alveolar bone – the bone that holds the tooth socket – was more frequent among psoriasis patients as well.
Twenty-four percent of psoriasis patients had moderate to severe gum disease, compared to only 10 percent of the controls. Factors that could contribute to gum disease in psoriasis patients include smoking and irregular dentist check-ups.
Previous studies have also shown a link between psoriasis and gum disease, suggesting that periodontitis may actually make one more likely to develop psoriasis.
People with chronic gum disease slightly more likely to develop psoriasis: Previous study
A Taiwanese study involving over 230,000 people found that those who had gum disease were 54 percent more likely to develop psoriasis over the course of five years.
Dr. Joel Gelfand, a dermatologist who was not involved in the study, commented, “We don’t know very much about what the risk factors are for chronic inflammatory diseases like psoriasis. This study points in a potentially new direction for a potential risk factor that – in theory – could be modified and thus lower the risk of psoriasis in the future. That being said, this finding needs to be confirmed by more rigorous, more controlled studies to determine if the findings are real.”
In the study, the researchers identified 115,365 people with gum disease, of which 1,082 have developed psoriasis – compared to only 706 participants in the control group.
The findings open up possibilities to different underlying causes of psoriasis.
Home remedies to manage gum disease and psoriasis
Gum disease is a risk factor not only for psoriasis, but also for heart disease and dementia, suggesting that periodontitis treatment is crucial for your overall health. Here are some home remedies to manage gum disease:
- Mix together hydrogen peroxide and water, rinse your mouth for a few seconds, and spit it out.
- Massage your gums with aloe vera.
- Drink pure cranberry juice a few times a day.
- Swish around sesame or coconut oil for oil pulling.
- Swish around sea salt and water.
- Place a steeped, cooled-down tea bag on the affected gums to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Use chamomile tea as a mouth rinse.
Prevention is the key for the overall gum health, and there are many measures you can take in order to avoid gum disease. Below are preventative steps to ensure you stay healthy.
- Get regular checkups with the dentist.
- Brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash.
- Manage and control diabetes, high cholesterol, and blood pressure.
- Don’t smoke.
- Eat a proper diet.
- Lose weight.
- Exercise regularly.
- Limit your alcohol consumption.
Here are a few natural remedies that are used to help with psoriasis.
- Warm bath – this helps you relax and de-stress. It also helps remove scales and calms irritated, inflamed skin.
- Adding Epsom salts can be effective.
- Daily moisturizers – apply a heavy base of moisturizer following a shower or bath. In the colder months, apply moisturizer more than once a day.
- Sunlight therapy – expose your skin to a little sunlight. It can improve psoriasis. Be careful not to overexpose – you can make the condition worse.
- Trigger elimination – focus on what might trigger symptoms and try eliminating it from your daily routine.
- No scratching – it can make your skin condition worse.
- Mild soaps – either without scent or with minimal perfume.
- Humidifier – it will add moisture to the air and also to your skin.
- Light, cotton clothing – it will be less irritating for your skin.
- Stress reduction – stress affects all aspects of your health.