Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the joints. It can also cause fatigue, eye problems and a greater likelihood of dental problems.
PsA causes the immune system to attack joints in different parts of the body. Commonly affected joints include:
This article examines the relationship between PsA and dental health and explores tips for maintaining good oral health.
Research shows that periodontitis may play a role in causing or worsening psoriasis. There is also a relationship between periodontitis, the severity of the disease, and whether someone with psoriasis develops PsA.
A 2019 review suggests that the following factors may be predictors of psoriasis:
- family history of psoriasis
- oral pain in the past 12 months
- poor gum health
- speech difficulties due to dental problems
A 2019 study found that people with gum disease tend to have higher levels of inflammatory conditions.
Oral health can also be more of a challenge for people with a painful, chronic condition like PsA. More research will help experts better understand the connection between PsA and dental health.
Psoriatic arthritis and periodontal disease
PsA causes inflammation that can worsen gum disease and accelerate severe symptoms like tooth decay.
People with psoriasis also have a higher risk of developing periodontitis than the general population, according to a 2019 review. They are also more likely to:
- you have more severe gingivitis
- experience more bone loss
- you have more missing teeth
Medicines that treat immune-related conditions such as psoriatic arthritis can also affect a person’s immune system, putting them at greater risk of serious infections, including tooth and mouth infections that can cause tooth loss or worsen oral health.
Psoriatic arthritis and dental implants
Dentists may recommend dental implants for people with tooth loss, but some PsA medications affect the immune system. This can make people more susceptible to infection and increase the risk of complications from surgery.
Although there are no studies on dental implants in people with PsA, a
- using toothpaste that contains fluoride and drinking fluoridated water
- brushing twice a day
- floss daily to control plaque to avoid gum disease or tooth decay
- visit a dentist at least once a year
- avoiding tobacco products and keeping alcohol to a minimum
- asking about alternative medications if current ones are causing dry mouth
When to visit a dentist
A person experiencing dental pain or discomfort that affects their ability to eat or speak normally should consult a dentist.
PsA is an inflammatory condition that involves an overactive immune response. It causes joint swelling, pain and stiffness. Left untreated, the condition can also cause permanent joint damage.
Research suggests a link between PsA and poor dental health, but experts aren’t sure why this is. Inflammation may play a role.
It is essential that people with chronic inflammatory conditions such as PsA monitor their dental health and inform their dentist about their condition and any medications they are taking.