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Oral Psoriasis: What It Is and How To Treat It

If you are familiar with psoriasis, you know that it's an autoimmune disease and skin condition that typically takes the form of thick, silvery scales or dry, red, sometimes itchy patches on the skin. According to the Mayo Clinic, psoriasis occurs when the life cycle of skin cells is sped up, creating a buildup of rough, dead skin cells.

While psoriasis isn't contagious and incredibly common, it is a genetic immune disorder. The triggers vary from person to person—which means the onset of symptoms can come from stress, weather (especially dry weather), smoking, drinking alcohol, or existing infections.

Luckily, psoriasis is a common disease, and treatments are widely available.

How Oral Psoriasis Is Related to Regular Psoriasis

While psoriasis typically appears on the skin, psoriasis in the mouth can occur in rare cases—especially if you already have psoriasis on your skin. That being said, unlike psoriasis in the skin, psoriasis on the lips, tongue, or corner of the mouth does not have a regular pattern caused by known triggers, so outbreaks can come about without any reasons you might associate with outbreaks on your skin.

Psoriasis in the mouth is uncommon—but if you do think you're experiencing symptoms, talk to your dentist or dermatologist to make sure it's psoriasis (and not another common mouth sore like a cold sore or canker sore).

How to Tell if You Have Oral Psoriasis

Think you might be experiencing oral psoriasis? Here are some common signs, according to a 2019 article published in Cureus,

  • Small, whitish bumps that may bleed when scraped
  • Red and white plaques

How to Treat Your Symptoms

If you think you're experiencing symptoms, talk to your dentist or dermatologist to discuss the best way to treat and manage your symptoms. In most cases, your doctor will probably order a biopsy to ensure you're receiving the proper diagnosis. If it's confirmed oral psoriasis, then they'll prescribe you a treatment specific to your needs.

According to Medical News Today, common treatments for psoriasis in your mouth can be:

  • Topical steroid creams
  • Anti-inflammatory oral medications

These medications can help reduce inflammation and pain, making it easier to eat and drink. Also, you may find that your oral psoriasis improves if you're already treating skin symptoms.

Prevention

While there's no cure for oral psoriasis, you can avoid flare-ups by taking some simple precautions, such as:

  • Avoiding spicy foods
  • Quitting smoking
  • Using a mouth rinse
  • Practicing good oral hygiene

Above all, be sure to talk to your doctor, dentist, or dermatologist before using any medication to treat your psoriasis. Psoriasis of the mouth can be uncomfortable—but with the right diagnosis and care, you should be able to manage and treat your symptoms.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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