Psoriasis links to gum disease

The British Dental Health Foundation believes a new study linking the presence of severe gum disease with the skin condition, psoriasis, further highlights the need for good oral health.

Researchers in Taiwan1 found that in a group of 230,000 people, those with severe gum disease were 54 per cent more likely to develop psoriasis over five years. Psoriasis is a condition that can cause red, itchy and flaky skin and affects around 1.8 million people in the UK.

As another scientific study reveals a potential link between a chronic medical condition and gum disease, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter believes we should all remain vigilant when it comes to oral health.

Dr Carter said: ‘While researchers believe more work needs to be done to establish the link between gum disease and those suffering from psoriasis, the findings in this research paper are the latest in a growing number that link periodontal disease to a number of other chronic and serious health conditions. It sends out a further message about the importance of looking after your oral health and taking preventive action by maintaining a regular oral health routine.’

Published in the British Journal of Dermatology, Dr Joseph J. Keller from Taipei Medical University and his colleague Dr H.-C. Lin turned to a database of Taiwan’s national health system.

They identified 115,365 people with gum disease and an identical number of controls and tracked them over five years.

Psoriasis developed in 1,082 patients with periodontitis and 706 controls.

Reference

1. Keller, J.J. and Lin, H.-C. (2012), The effects of chronic periodontitis and its treatment on the subsequent risk of psoriasis. British Journal of Dermatology. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.11126.x

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