Dental health and diet may have an impact on the development and severity of psoriasis, according to a study by US dermatologists.
The study by a team at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center—and published in the Dermatology Online Journal—found psoriasis patients who rated their gum health as poor or very poor exhibited significantly more severe psoriasis symptoms than those with healthy gums.
Conversely, patients who reported consuming fresh fruit at least once a day experienced milder psoriasis symptoms.
Psoriasis, a skin disease that causes thick, itchy patches of red skin with silvery scales, can can last a lifetime, is caused by a problem with the immune system. In a process called cell turnover, skin cells that grow deep in the skin rise to the surface. Normally this takes a month but with psoriasis, it happens in just a few days because the cells rise too quickly. Treatments include creams, medicines and ultraviolet light therapy.
“We’re looking for some sort of trigger that sets off the immune system,” Dr Benjamin Kaffenberge said.
“Because strep throat is one of the known triggers and the microbiome of bacteria in the mouth is much more complex, that became our starting point. We wondered if poor dental health could be a risk factor for psoriasis.”
The researchers created a specially designed lifestyle and diet questionnaire that was administered to 265 patients at Ohio State’s dermatology clinics. The study surveyed 100 patients with psoriasis and 165 without the disease.