Oral Psoriasis: How The Disease Can Affect Your Mouth
Psoriasis can affect different parts of your body, such as the scalp, the skin on your knees and elbows, and even the nails. Less common and often overlooked is oral psoriasis, which results in symptoms in and around the mouth.
Oral psoriasis â€œcan affect the inside of the cheeks, the tongue, and very rarely the gums,â€ says Timothy Chase, doctor of dental medicine, a cosmetic dentist in New York City and a faculty mentor at Spear Advanced Dental Education Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. Like other forms of psoriasis, it can cause redness, scaling, and breaks in the skin.
Is It Oral Psoriasis or Geographic Tongue?
â€œPeople who have psoriasis may be more prone to a condition called geographic tongue,â€ says Dr. Chase. The American Academy of Oral Medicine describes this as an inflammatory condition that typically appears on the top and sides of the tongue.
While it doesnâ€™t cause pain, the condition can change the tongueâ€™s appearance with red areas of varying size surrounded by a white border. Itâ€™s believed that 10 to 15 percent of people with psoriasis will develop geographic tongue at some point in their lifetime.
How to Prevent and Treat Symptoms of the Mouth
According to Estee Williams, MD, a dermatologist in New York City, there are some things patients can do to minimize the risk for oral psoriasis.
â€œFirst and foremost, I recommend maintaining good oral hygiene, including use of any alkaline mouth rinses,â€ Dr. Williams says. A do-it-yourself rinse can be made from baking soda and water.
Smoking is a risk factor for a variety of oral problems. â€œIf you smoke, stop immediately,â€ Williams says. Also, avoid alcohol and find ways to manage stress, both of which are common psoriasis triggers.
â€œAnother way to ward off any oral issues is to have regular dental checkups,â€ Williams adds.
If you have red and white patches or lesions in your mouth, your dentist may want to perform an oral tissue biopsy. While it may not establish that you have oral psoriasis, a biopsy can help diagnose or rule out other conditions, such as cancer.
Your doctor may recommend an anesthetic rinse, such as Xylocaine Viscous (lidocaine), a hydrochloride solution, if you have an oral irritation that is causing pain. For more severe cases, you may be prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs, such as corticosteroids. But systemic treatment usually isnâ€™t usually recommended if the symptoms are limited to your mouth.
The Latest in Psoriasis
Picking at Your Psoriasis Scales? Do This Instead
Itâ€™s tempting to peel and pick at those itchy scales, but if you can help it, there are better ways to cope.
What Black Patients Need To Know About The Effects of Psoriasis
Psoriasis can look differently on darker skin than on lighter skin â€” and knowing how to spot the symptoms is an important first step of the treatment ...
Ways to Protect Your Eye Health â€” and Preserve Your Vision â€” With Psoriasis
How to keep the skin condition from negatively impacting your vision.
7 Ways to Take the Stress Out of Your Next Hair Salon Visit if You Have Scalp Psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis symptoms can make a routine trip to the hair salon stressful. But with the right approach, you can have an easier visit â€” and a healthy...
Do You Need a COVID-19 Vaccine Booster if You Have Psoriasis?
Psoriasis drugs that work by suppressing the bodyâ€™s immune response may raise the risk of COVID-19 complications. If youâ€™re already immunized, can a booster...
Psoriasis Awareness: A 2021 Special Report
Psoriasis flares have been on the rise in 2021, according to a survey of ishonest readers who have the skin condition. Hereâ€™s what might be to ...
Psoriasis: How to Deal with Cracked, Bleeding Skin
Take these steps to heal your skin and avoid future fissures.
Your Psoriasis Diet: Best Foods for Spring and Summer
Ready to break out your favorite warm-weather recipes? Here are delicious anti- inflammatory ingredients you should consider using.