Connection Between Periodontitis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

June 27th, 2015


It's no doubt that oral health is a window to overall health. There is a significant amount of research linking common oral problems to heart disease, diabetes, pneumoniaAlzheimer’s disease, and now rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the joints, which typically causes pain and stiffness. There is increasing interest in the relationship between oral health and inflammatory diseases. A recent study conducted in March of 2015 suggests that periodontitis, a type of inflammatory disease affecting the supportive structures of the teeth (such as bones and tissues), along with rheumatoid arthritis are associated with Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) and may trigger the development of rheumatoid arthritis.The study titled "Inflammation in the Mouth and Joints in Rheumatoid Arthritis," was presented at the 93rd General Session and Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research. The study examined 8 chronic RA patients, 15 onset RA patients, and 20 individuals with neither periodontitis nor RA. Of the total 23 RA patients, 10 had gingivitis and 9 had periodontitis. In addition, 6 of the individuals with both periodontitis and RA also had P. gingivalis, a strain of bacterium in the oral cavity that is typically associated with the cause of periodontal disease.

Researchers also found that regardless of dental care, all RA patients showed oral inflammation. They suggest that P. gingivalis antibodies may help rheumatologists in distinguishing RA patients who may benefit from periodontal treatment.

Both RA and periodontal disease are similar in many ways. Smoking is a common risk factor of RA and periodontal disease and should be avoided. individuals with RA have a higher risk of developing periodontal disease and may experience more severe symptoms.

It is clear that inflammation and oral bacteria may go hand-in-hand. Take good care of your teeth, it can ultimately save your joints!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.




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