Are Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gum Disease Related?

Senior woman smiling in a dental chair

Have you been dealing with rheumatoid arthritis or gum disease? Recent studies show a direct correlation between rheumatoid arthritis and gum disease. Proper oral hygiene will aid in preventing gum disease and has an impact on other areas of your body. Rheumatoid arthritis causes chronic inflammation, destroys joints, and leads to other autoimmune diseases. Gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis are closely linked as they are both characterized by chronic inflammation in soft-tissues adjacent to the bones. Both conditions lead to pain, swelling, and tenderness, which starts leading to bone loss without proper treatment.

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gum Disease

University of Louisville School of Dentistry in Kentucky released a study involving the two conditions and identified bacterium that causes gum disease is also present in the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis. The connection identifying the two conditions shows that individuals with rheumatoid arthritis could have oral health conditions that progress rapidly.

What Can I Expect?

When an individual has gum disease, the bacteria causes a reaction between some proteins in the body. When this attack occurs, the body will respond in a standard immune attack way, which means it starts fighting the reaction with inflammation. Prolonged inflammation can destroy cartilage. The destruction of cartilage leads to bone loss, which can cause the teeth to become loose. Loose teeth are vulnerable to decay, and can even fall out with minimal pressure during chewing.

Common Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gum Disease

Rheumatoid arthritis normally starts with gradual stiffness and aches before it becomes widespread pain throughout the body. Joint pain begins in the jaw and swelling of the teeth and gums. There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but the right dental treatments can aid in helping to reduce pain and inflammation of the gums. It is important to understand that both conditions require long-term treatments to maintain a healthy body. Research shows improvement in common rheumatoid arthritis symptoms following successful periodontal treatment.

How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?

To reduce the risk of gum disease it is important to focus on regular brushing and flossing. Visit a Phoenix periodontist for proper treatment. Healthy eating habits can aid in reducing the likelihood of other oral health issues that can lead to advanced oral health issues.

Arizona Periodontal Group provides effective treatments for patients dealing with gum disease and other serious oral health concerns. Contact our Arizona dental office to schedule an appointment to discuss your condition and find the best treatment method for your condition. We focus on treating people, not just cavities and gum disease!

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