Rheumatoid arthritis and periodontal disease are related, and the symptoms are aggravated.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful illness characterized by joint swelling and stiffness. Surprisingly, your mouth and the disease are related, causing symptoms to worsen.
Poor dental health may have a far greater impact on one’s health than previously realized. Gum disease symptoms, in fact, have been linked to an increase in arthritis activity, with research indicating that people with more bleeding and swelling have higher levels of rheumatoid arthritis disease activity. What is the connection? Researchers have long suspected that microbes may promote or cause inflammatory illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Periodontal disease, alterations in the oral and intestinal microbiome, and RA have all been linked in the past, but the specific link between them has yet to be discovered.
Oral bacteria appear to play a role in the development of RA, according to several studies.
Three species of anaerobic bacteria found in the oral cavity have been identified in the joint fluid of persons with RA, according to one study.
Antibodies to particular types of bacteria have been linked to periodontal disease and may have a role in the development of RA, according to another study.
Early rheumatoid arthritis (ERA) and changes in the oral and intestinal microbiota have been investigated by RA researchers.
The mucus that lines the lips and intestines has been shown to contain aberrant quantities of some bacteria in patients with ERA.
They were also shown to have a higher risk of periodontal disease, or gum disease, than other people.
The study, which was published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology, looked at the microbial populations and periodontal diseases of patients with ERA, those at risk of RA, and a control group of people who did not have these symptoms.
Another study from 2012 found that 65 percent of RA patients had gum disease, compared to only 28 percent of non-RA patients.
It was discovered that RA patients were four times more likely than their RA-free peers to have gum disease, and that their gum disease was more severe.
“We have known for some time that patients with RA have an elevated risk of periodontal disease, it could be that a person’s genetic make-up puts them at risk of getting both disorders,” commented Professor Alan Silman, then Medical Director of Arthritis Research UK, in response to the study.
“People with RA, as well as the professionals who treat them, must be on the lookout for early warning signs,” according to Brinkwire Summary News.