Ask Your Dentist About Your Acne

If you have a stubborn case of acne and your dermatologist has tried everything without success, you might want to visit your dentist.

A Vanderbilt University researcher says there is evidence that an abscessed or infected tooth could be the culprit in difficult cases of acne vulgaris. This is a condition that affects about 80 percent of people between the ages of 11 and 30 and is usually treated by oral or topical antibiotics.

The dental connection to this form of acne was found in the case of a 30-year-old patient whose acne erupted as soon as medications were halted. However, when an abscessed tooth was pulled, the acne disappeared, according to a recently published study in the dermatology journal, Cutis.

Actually, it turns out the same bacteria that causes acne - called P. Acne - is also present in the upper gastrointestinal tract and oral cavity.

What's odd is that the man in this case got another tooth infection and the acne returned. When the second tooth was treated, the acne left again.

The message seems to be that if you have an acne condition that is recurring and won't go away with the usual treatments, you might want to have a dental examination.

Source: Cutis, August 1999