Nobody likes dealing with acne. Whether you call them zits, pimples, blackheads or just plain blemishes, these unsightly breakouts cause embarrassment. You may be surprised to find out that your breakouts are caused by more than meets the eye. Although acne can have a number of causes, the one that’s often overlooked is the health of your teeth. Rather than stress about your newest bunch of pimples, check with your dentist to see if there’s anything you can do to relieve a breakout that just won’t seem to end.

What Causes Acne?

Acne can have a number of causes, including but not limited to:

  • Hormones
  • excess oil production
  • dry or dehydrated skin
  • bacteria

While your teeth have very little to do with how much oil your skin produces, your hormone levels or whether you’re drinking enough water, they absolutely can contribute to the bacterial load on your face. In fact, the same bacteria that causes breakouts — P. acne –naturally lives in your mouth and gastrointestinal tract.

How Teeth Contribute to Breakouts

Most of the time, your first stop in treating acne is a visit to your general practitioner, a dermatologist or even an esthetician. Unfortunately, some cases of acne baffle these providers. In those cases, it might be worth speaking to your dentist — especially if you’re already being treated for tooth pain or other dental issues.

Acne that is resistant to basic treatment may be caused by an abscess or an infected tooth. A basic dental exam can allow your provider to see if any of your teeth are presently infected. If so, you may find that your acne breakout subsides as you begin treating the tooth. This is because both the infection and the acne respond to the antibiotics commonly used in treatment.

What Can Be Done

Maintaining a blemish-free face and healthy teeth both require a normal self-care routine. You probably already wash and moisturize your face regularly. When it comes to your teeth, it pays to have a similar routine. You brush, floss and rinse according to your dentist’s guidelines. But just like the best skin care routine doesn’t always protect against zits, your normal oral health regimen won’t always protect against bacterial infections — some of which can lead to breakouts.

Setting up a dental appointment is your first step in warding off acne caused by tooth decay. Even during a routine cleaning, your dentist can assess your mouth and its needs and figure out pretty easily if anything is wrong. During a cleaning, your dentist or dental hygienist may notice a tooth that has a cavity or other damage. If so, you’ll likely need to make another appointment to receive treatment for it. You may be prescribed a round of antibiotics to lessen the bacterial load in your body in the meantime, and that may help your acne disappear. Is it gone forever? No, so it’s important to keep any follow-up appointments; however, it is the first step in treating the underlying problem. Pretty soon, your complexion and your mouth will be in the best possible shape.

How We Can Help

If you suspect your treatment-resistant acne is being caused by an abscessed or infected tooth, we can help. While we’re not skin care experts, sorting out your oral health can potentially clear up a breakout if the underlying cause is, in fact, something related to your teeth.

The offices of Drs. Krieger and Hur make cosmetic dentistry easy and convenient, often completing procedures the same day! When your smile needs perfecting, but your time is limited, give us a call at 201-560-0606 or email us here and we’ll get you fast-tracked back to eye-catching confidence.

We heard your selfies could be a lot better, so we wrote a “How to Take a Great Selfie” guide to help you show off our great handywork. It’ll be our little secret! You don’t have to tell anyone that your dentist helped you perfect those iconic social media images.

Just click here, enter your email and download the PDF. Nothing could be easier.  While you’re at it, go ahead and sign up for our newsletter for more tips for keeping that smile white and bright.