INTELIHEALTH - A small study has found that people with psoriasis are more likely to have gum disease than people who don't have this skin condition.
Psoriasis causes red, scaling skin. It is thought to be an autoimmune disease. This means that the body's immune system mistakes body cells as being dangerous, and attacks them.
The study was done in Bangalore, India. It included 68 people. Of these, 33 had psoriasis and 35 did not. The average age of people in the study was about 34 years. No one in the study had any other diseases. No one used tobacco or took medicines, other than those for psoriasis.
People with more advanced psoriasis tended to have more severe gum disease.
The authors say that the link between psoriasis and gum disease is not surprising. Both diseases cause increases in certain types of immune-system cells and proteins. They suggest that people with psoriasis may be at increased risk for gum disease. They also suggest the reverse: that people with gum disease may be at increased risk for psoriasis.
People in the psoriasis group brushed their teeth less often than people in the other group. This also could be one reason for their higher risk of gum disease, the authors said. People with psoriasis were more likely to have seven or more missing teeth, compared with otherwise healthy people.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, 2% to 3% of the population develops psoriasis. The NPF states that to get psoriasis, a person must have a combination of genes that can cause the disease, and then must be exposed to a trigger. Triggers include stress, skin injury, infection and some medicines.
The study appears in the April issue of the Journal of Oral Diseases.
Source: InteliHealth News Service