The Importance of Dental Care for People with Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It causes red, scaly patches on the skin that can be itchy, painful, and sometimes bleed. Psoriasis can also affect other parts of the body, including the joints, nails, and mouth.

But did you know that psoriasis can also affect your dental health? Research has shown that people with psoriasis have a higher risk of developing gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and bad breath. These dental problems can not only affect your appearance and self-esteem, but also your overall health and quality of life.

That’s why it’s important to take good care of your teeth and gums if you have psoriasis. In this article, you will learn:

  • How psoriasis affects your dental health
  • How to prevent and treat dental problems associated with psoriasis
  • How to improve your oral hygiene routine?
  • How to choose the best dental products for psoriasis?
  • How to find a dentist who understands psoriasis?

How psoriasis affects your dental health

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, which means that your immune system mistakenly attacks your own healthy cells and tissues. This causes inflammation, which is the main cause of psoriasis symptoms.

Inflammation can also affect other parts of your body, including your mouth. In fact, some studies have found that people with psoriasis have higher levels of inflammatory markers in their saliva than people without psoriasis. This means that their oral environment is more prone to infection and damage.

Some of the dental problems that can result from psoriasis are:

  • Gum disease: Also known as periodontitis, this is a serious infection of the gums that can damage the tissues and bones that support your teeth. Gum disease can cause symptoms such as redness, swelling, bleeding, pain, and bad breath. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. People with psoriasis are more likely to develop gum disease than people without psoriasis. This may be due to several factors, such as increased inflammation, dry mouth, smoking, stress, poor oral hygiene, or genetic predisposition.
  • Tooth decay: Also known as dental caries or cavities, this is a condition where the enamel (the hard outer layer of your teeth) is damaged by bacteria and acids. Tooth decay can cause symptoms such as sensitivity, pain, discoloration, and holes in your teeth. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to infection, abscesses, tooth loss, and systemic complications. People with psoriasis may be more prone to tooth decay than people without psoriasis. This may be due to several factors, such as acidic saliva, dry mouth, smoking, stress, poor oral hygiene, or dietary habits.
  • Tooth loss: This is a condition where one or more teeth fall out or need to be extracted due to damage or disease. Tooth loss can affect your appearance, speech, chewing ability, nutrition, and self-confidence. It can also cause problems such as bone loss in your jaw, shifting of your remaining teeth, bite changes, and facial sagging. People with psoriasis may be more likely to experience tooth loss than people without psoriasis. This may be due to the increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay associated with psoriasis.
  • Bad breath: Also known as halitosis or oral malodor, this is a condition where your breath has an unpleasant odor. Bad breath can be caused by various factors such as food particles, bacteria, plaque, tartar, gum disease, tooth decay, dry mouth, smoking, medications, or systemic diseases. People with psoriasis may be more likely to suffer from bad breath than people without psoriasis. This may be due to the increased risk of oral infections and inflammation associated with psoriasis.

As you can see, psoriasis can have a negative impact on your dental health and well-being. That’s why it’s important to take good care of your teeth and gums if you have psoriasis.

How to prevent and treat dental problems associated with psoriasis

The good news is that you can prevent and treat most of the dental problems associated with psoriasis by following some simple steps, such as:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. This will help remove plaque, bacteria, and food debris from your teeth and gums. It will also strengthen your enamel and prevent tooth decay.
  • Floss your teeth once a day with a gentle floss or an interdental brush. This will help clean the spaces between your teeth and under your gum line where plaque and bacteria can accumulate. It will also prevent gum disease and bad breath.
  • Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash or a saltwater solution after brushing and flossing. This will help kill any remaining bacteria and reduce inflammation in your mouth. It will also freshen your breath and soothe any irritation or soreness.
  • Visit your dentist or dental hygienist at least twice a year for a professional dental cleaning and check-up. This will help remove any hard deposits of tartar or calculus that cannot be removed by brushing and flossing alone. It will also help detect and treat any signs of gum disease, tooth decay, or other oral problems early.
  • Avoid smoking or using tobacco products. Smoking can worsen your psoriasis symptoms and increase your risk of developing oral cancer. It can also stain your teeth, damage your gums, and cause bad breath.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water can help keep your mouth moist and prevent dry mouth, which can increase your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Water can also help flush out any food particles or bacteria from your mouth.
  • Eat a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy products. These foods can provide essential nutrients for your oral health and immune system. They can also help prevent tooth decay by neutralizing acids in your mouth.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar, acid, or salt. These substances can damage your enamel, cause tooth decay, irritate your gums, and worsen your psoriasis symptoms. Examples of these foods and drinks are candies, chocolates, cakes, cookies, sodas, juices, sports drinks, coffee, tea, alcohol, chips, crackers, pickles, etc.
  • Chew sugar-free gum or mints after meals or snacks. This can help stimulate saliva production and wash away any food particles or bacteria from your mouth. It can also help prevent dry mouth and bad breath.
  • Manage your stress levels. Stress can trigger or worsen your psoriasis flare-ups and affect your oral health. Stress can also cause you to grind or clench your teeth, which can damage your enamel and cause headaches or jaw pain. You can try some relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, massage, music therapy, etc., to reduce stress and improve your mood.

By following these steps, you can prevent and treat most of the dental problems associated with psoriasis. However, if you notice any symptoms such as bleeding gums, swollen gums, receding gums, loose teeth, or persistent bad breath. These may be signs of gum disease or other oral infections that need immediate attention. You should visit your dentist or dental hygienist as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. They may prescribe antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, or other medications to help you heal. They may also perform scaling, root planing, or surgery to remove the infected or damaged tissues and restore your oral health.

  • Toothache, sensitivity, discoloration, or holes in your teeth. These may be signs of tooth decay or cavities that need to be filled or restored. You should visit your dentist or dental hygienist as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. They may use a drill, a laser, or an air abrasion device to remove the decayed part of your tooth and fill it with a material such as amalgam, composite resin, porcelain, or gold. They may also use a crown, a bridge, an implant, or a denture to replace a missing or severely damaged tooth.
  • Cracked, chipped, broken, or worn teeth. These may be signs of trauma, injury, or bruxism (teeth grinding) that need to be repaired or protected. You should visit your dentist or dental hygienist as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. They may use a bonding agent, a veneer, a crown, or an onlay to repair or cover the damaged part of your tooth and restore its function and appearance. They may also use a mouth guard, a splint, or a night guard to prevent further damage from bruxism or clenching.

How to improve your oral hygiene routine?

Besides preventing and treating dental problems associated with psoriasis, you can also improve your oral hygiene routine by following some additional tips, such as:

  • Use a toothpaste that is specially formulated for people with psoriasis. Some toothpastes contain ingredients that can help reduce inflammation, soothe irritation, moisturize dryness, and heal lesions in your mouth. Some examples of these ingredients are aloe vera, chamomile, calendula, tea tree oil, coconut oil, etc. You can ask your dentist or dental hygienist for recommendations or look for products that are certified by the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF).
  • Use a toothbrush that is gentle and comfortable for your mouth. Some toothbrushes have soft bristles that can prevent abrasion and irritation of your gums and teeth. Some toothbrushes have ergonomic handles that can reduce stress and fatigue on your hand and wrist. Some toothbrushes have special features that can help you brush more effectively and efficiently. For example, some electric toothbrushes have timers, pressure sensors, oscillating heads, sonic vibrations, etc., that can help you clean your teeth better and faster.
  • Use dental floss that is smooth and easy to use. Some dental flosses have waxed coatings that can glide between your teeth without snagging or shredding. Some dental flosses have flavors that can make flossing more enjoyable and pleasant. Some dental flosses have special features that can help you floss more effectively and efficiently. For example, some dental flosses have textured surfaces, expanding fibers, fluoride coatings, or interdental cleaners that can help remove more plaque and debris from your teeth and gums.
  • Use a mouthwash that is suitable for your mouth. Some mouthwashes contain ingredients that can help reduce inflammation, soothe irritation, moisturize dryness, and heal lesions in your mouth. Some examples of these ingredients are aloe vera, chamomile, calendula, tea tree oil, coconut oil, etc. You can ask your dentist or dental hygienist for recommendations or look for products that are certified by the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF). You can also use a saltwater solution as a natural and inexpensive mouthwash that can help kill bacteria and reduce inflammation in your mouth.
  • Use a lip balm that is hydrating and protective for your lips. Some lip balms contain ingredients that can help moisturize, nourish, and heal your lips. Some examples of these ingredients are shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax, vitamin E, jojoba oil, etc. You can also use a lip balm that has SPF (sun protection factor) to protect your lips from sun damage, which can worsen your psoriasis symptoms.
  • Use a tongue scraper or a toothbrush to clean your tongue. Your tongue can harbor bacteria, food particles, and dead cells that can cause bad breath and oral infections. You should gently scrape or brush your tongue from back to front every time you brush your teeth. This will help remove any debris and improve your oral hygiene.

By following these tips, you can improve your oral hygiene routine and enhance your dental health and well-being.

How to choose the best dental products for psoriasis?

When choosing dental products for psoriasis, you should consider the following factors:

  • The ingredients: You should look for products that contain natural or organic ingredients that can help reduce inflammation, soothe irritation, moisturize dryness, and heal lesions in your mouth. You should avoid products that contain harsh or artificial ingredients that can irritate or damage your mouth. Some examples of these ingredients are alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), parabens, triclosan, artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners.
  • The quality: You should look for products that are made by reputable brands or manufacturers that have good reviews and ratings from customers or experts. You should also look for products that are certified by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF). These certifications indicate that the products meet certain standards of safety and effectiveness for oral health.
  • The price: You should look for products that are affordable and within your budget. You should compare the prices of different products and choose the ones that offer the best value for money. You should also look for discounts, coupons, or offers that can help you save money on dental products.

By choosing the best dental products for psoriasis, you can ensure that you are using the right products for your oral health and psoriasis condition.

How to find a dentist who understands psoriasis?

Finding a dentist who understands psoriasis can be challenging but not impossible. Here are some tips on how to find a dentist who understands psoriasis:

  • Ask for referrals: You can ask your family doctor, dermatologist, rheumatologist, or other health care provider for referrals to dentists who have experience or knowledge in treating patients with psoriasis. You can also ask your family members, friends, co-workers, or other people with psoriasis for recommendations to dentists who understand psoriasis.
  • Search online: You can search online for dentists who specialize in treating patients with psoriasis or other autoimmune diseases. You can use websites such as [Dentist Finder] or [Zocdoc] to find dentists near you who accept your insurance plan and have good ratings and reviews from patients. You can also use websites such as [Psoriasis Speaks] or [National Psoriasis Foundation] to find dentists who are members of these organizations or who support their missions.
  • Contact potential dentists: You can contact potential dentists by phone or email and ask them some questions about their qualifications, experience, services, fees, and policies. You can also ask them how they approach patients with psoriasis and what precautions or accommodations they make for them. You can also request to see their portfolio or testimonials from previous patients with psoriasis.
  • Schedule a consultation: You can schedule a consultation with one or more dentists who meet your criteria and expectations. You can use this opportunity to meet the dentist and their staff, see their office and equipment, and discuss your oral health and psoriasis condition. You can also ask any questions or concerns that you have and evaluate how comfortable and confident you feel with the dentist.
  • Choose a dentist who understands psoriasis: You can choose a dentist who understands psoriasis based on your personal preference and satisfaction. You should choose a dentist who is qualified, experienced, friendly, respectful, compassionate, and supportive. You should also choose a dentist who listens to your needs and goals, explains your options and procedures clearly, provides high-quality care and service, and follows up with you regularly.

By finding a dentist who understands psoriasis, you can ensure that you are getting the best dental care for your oral health and psoriasis condition.

Dental care is important for everyone, but especially for people with psoriasis. Psoriasis can affect your dental health by increasing your risk of gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and bad breath. These dental problems can not only affect your appearance and self-esteem, but also your overall health and quality of life.

That’s why you should take good care of your teeth and gums if you have psoriasis. You should brush your teeth twice a day, floss your teeth once a day, rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash or a saltwater solution, visit your dentist or dental hygienist at least twice a year, avoid smoking or using tobacco products, drink plenty of water, eat a balanced diet, avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar, acid, or salt, chew sugar-free gum or mints after meals or snacks, and manage your stress levels.

You should also choose the best dental products for psoriasis that contain natural or organic ingredients that can help reduce inflammation, soothe irritation, moisturize dryness, and heal lesions in your mouth. You should also find a dentist who understands psoriasis and who can provide you with the best dental care for your oral health and psoriasis condition.

By following these tips, you can improve your dental health and well-being if you have psoriasis.

FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about dental care for people with psoriasis:

  • Q: Can I use over-the-counter whitening products to whiten my teeth if I have psoriasis?
  • A: It depends on the type and severity of your psoriasis and the ingredients of the whitening products. Some whitening products contain peroxide or other chemicals that can irritate or damage your mouth. Some whitening products can also cause tooth sensitivity or enamel erosion. If you have psoriasis lesions in your mouth or if you have sensitive or eroded teeth, you should avoid using over-the-counter whitening products. You should consult with your dentist or dental hygienist before using any whitening products. They may recommend a professional whitening treatment that is safer and more effective for your teeth.
  • Q: Can I use braces or aligners to straighten my teeth if I have psoriasis?
  • A: It depends on the type and severity of your psoriasis and the type of braces or aligners that you want to use. Some braces or aligners are made of metal or plastic that can irritate or damage your mouth. Some braces or aligners can also cause plaque accumulation, gum inflammation, tooth decay, or tooth movement. If you have psoriasis lesions in your mouth or if you have gum disease or tooth decay, you should avoid using braces or aligners. You should consult with your dentist or orthodontist before using any braces or aligners. They may recommend a different type of braces or aligners that is more suitable for your teeth and mouth.
  • Q: Can I use implants to replace my missing teeth if I have psoriasis?
  • A: It depends on the type and severity of your psoriasis and the condition of your jawbone and gums. Some implants are made of titanium or other materials that can cause allergic reactions or infections in some people. Some implants require surgery to place them in the jawbone, which can cause bleeding, swelling, pain, or complications in some people. If you have psoriasis lesions in your mouth or if you have bone loss or gum disease in your jawbone or gums, you should avoid using implants. You should consult with your dentist or oral surgeon before using any implants. They may recommend a different type of tooth replacement that is more suitable for your oral health and psoriasis condition.

Leave a Comment