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Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disease. According to the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations, it affects about 125 million people worldwide—about 3 per cent of the world’s population. (Photo: Christine Langer-Pueschel/Shutterstock)
0 Comments Apr 15, 2014 | News Europe

Smoking places psoriasis patients at risk of severe periodontal disease

Post a comment by Dental Tribune International

SZEGED, Hungary: New research has suggested that psoriasis patients who smoke are at a dramatically higher risk of developing severe periodontal disease than are psoriasis-free non-smokers. Evidence of the connection between the two diseases has already been established, but this is the first study to consider smoking as a possible permissive factor.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Szeged in Hungary in collaboration with the university’s Department of Dermatology and Allergology, involved 82 psoriasis patients and age- and sex-matched controls. All participants underwent a full mouth periodontal examination, based on which they were classified into four categories of severity. Demographic and tobacco use data was collected by a questionnaire.

Analysis of the data confirmed the connection between psoriasis and periodontal disease, and it found that both psoriasis and smoking are significant individual risk factors for periodontal disease of varying degrees of severity. However, when both of these risk factors were present, the probability of developing severe periodontal disease was found to be 24 times higher than in non-smokers. This is about four times the combined probabilities of the two individual risk factors.

Dr Márk Antal, head of the research team, said it was too early to suggest any specific mechanism, but the results indicate that what is happening is not a simple adding up of risk factors, but a synergistic process in which the immunomodulatory effects of tobacco smoking possibly play a major role. Lead researcher Dr Gábor Braunitzer added that the group is now turning its attention to specific immunological mechanisms to pursue an explanation for the phenomenon. Before molecular-level testing, however, the group seeks to confirm the findings in other patient populations.

The study, titled “Smoking as a permissive factor of periodontal disease in psoriasis”, was published online on 20 March, which also marked World Oral Health Day, in the PLOS One journal.

Click here to read the full study.

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