Mall of Georgia Dentistry's Blog

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Researchers link rheumatoid arthritis and oral health January 23, 2015

Filed under: Dental health — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 10:19 am

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis and the cause of much pain and many other problems.

In rheumatoid arthritis, the synovium thickens, swells, and produces chemical substances that attack and destroy the articular cartilage covering the bone. Rheumatoid arthritis often involves the same joint on both sides of the body, so both hips may be affected.

The end result may be joint replacement surgery.

Now researchers are closing in on the causes of this inflammatory form of arthritis.  One of them is your oral health:

Researchers are getting closer to understanding the underlying factors that connect rheumatoid arthritis and periodontal disease, according to an article published in Current Oral Health Reports.

In the article, entitled “Rheumatoid Arthritis and Periodontal Disease: A Rheumatologist’s Perspective,” researchers discussed recent findings surrounding the connection between rheumatoid arthritis and periodontal disease, including the hypothesis that there is a direct, potentially causal association between the two diseases.

The relationship between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis has long been discussed as potentially etiological and causal, as the two conditions share common risk factors and immunological processes.

  • Both are characterized by inflammatory markers, including Il-1, Il-6, TNFα
  • Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to have periodontal disease, and vice versa.
  • “Patients with active RA demonstrate significantly increased frequency and severity of periodontal diseases as well as tooth and alveolar bone loss.”
  • Bacteria from the mouth are able to translocate to the knee and have been found in patients with RA.

The point, of course, is you can have a direct effect on preventing at least this possibility by establishing and maintaining good oral health throughout your lifetime.  Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and regular dental checkups and cleanings should keep you on the path of good oral health and help avoid diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Mall of Georgia Dentistry


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