Psoriasis - a skin disease that causes thick, itchy patches of red skin with silvery scales - can last a lifetime and 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. This process normally takes a month but with psoriasis, it happens in just a few days because the cells rise too quickly.
Researchers with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have discovered that dental health and diet may have an impact on the development and severity of psoriasis. They found that psoriasis patients who rated their gum health as poor or very poor exhibited significantly more severe psoriasis symptoms than those with healthy gums. Patients who consumed fresh fruit at least once a day experienced milder psoriasis symptoms.
For the study, published in the Dermatology Online Journal, 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 and showed poor dental and oral health, in particular gum pain, was associated with those who had psoriasis. Patients with more severe psoriasis were more likely to report that their gums were in worse condition than patients who didn’t have mild to moderate psoriasis in the first place and patients who had higher fruit consumption reported less significant psoriasis, indicating fruit and potentially fresh foods may be an associated protective factor. The study also reinforced data from previous studies that found family history of psoriasis, smoking and obesity were significant predictors of psoriasis.
“We’re looking for some sort of trigger that sets off the immune system,” says Dr. Benjamin Kaffenberger, a dermatologist at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center who led the study. “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. Psoriasis is a chronic disease and can be so severe that it covers the entire body. Patients ask us ‘If I change my diet, will I get rid of this disease?’ That’s what really drove the onset of this study – to see what health and lifestyle changes patients could make. The key is to protect your gums and your mouth by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing. Lifestyle changes include quitting smoking, avoiding high alcohol consumption and properly managing diabetes.”
Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral health and skincare. If you are looking for more health resources make sure to check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
With over 30 years of writing and editing experience for newspapers, magazines and corporate communications, Kevin Kerfoot writes about natural health, nutrition, skincare and oral hygiene for Trusted Health Products’ natural health blog and newsletters.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.