There are countless reasons why your dentist wants you to have healthy gums: to prevent tooth loss, to prevent painful swelling, the list goes on. But a new study done by doctors at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center suggests that there’s even more to healthy gums: healthy skin.
The doctors asked psoriasis patients about their oral hygiene habits. They found that those with poor gum health — i.e. gingivitis and gum disease — also had more severe cases of psoriasis, a skin disorder that causes skin cells to multiply up to 10 times faster than normal. The result is bumpy red patches, speckled with white scales, that most frequently appear on your scalp, knees, elbows and lower back.
How can you tell if you have unhealthy teeth and gums?
Here’s what to look for:
- Redness, swelling or tenderness in your gums.
- Pain in your mouth.
- Bad breath that just won’t go away.
- Bleeding gums when you brushing, flossing or eating crunchy or hard foods.
- Loose teeth, or teeth that seem to be separating from your gums.
So, what can you do to keep your teeth and gums healthy and avoid potential psoriasis flare-ups?
Tips for healthy oral hygiene:
- Floss: We can’t stress enough how important it is to floss your teeth at least once a day. You can do it in the morning before breakfast, or at night after dinner, as long as you do it at some point every day.
- Get regular cleanings and checkups at your dentist: Have you had a visit with Dr. Chauvin’s office lately? You should be sitting down in that familiar dental office seat at least twice a year for a professional cleaning and regular exam.
- Quit smoking: In addition to the slew of other health problems linked to smoking, it’s a habit that also harms your mouth. Smoking and other forms of tobacco use cause gum disease.
- Brush twice a day: You hear it over and over again. Why? Because it’s important! Brush your teeth twice a day. No exceptions!
- Use mouthwash: A mouthwash approved by the American Dental Association can help to keep your gums healthy. Mouthwash kills bacteria that causes bad breath, and it also breaks up plaque in between your teeth and on the surface.
As you can see, having a healthy mouth is important not only for your gums and teeth, but for your skin and overall health. Contact Dr. Tim Chauvin’s office for your checkup today.