We take pride in educating our patients on oral hygiene and the importance of maintaining good habits. Oral hygiene has far-reaching impacts that go beyond just a healthy smile. There are many links between poor oral hygiene and other diseases and conditions. We want our patients to be educated on these links so they can understand the importance of regular upkeep. This includes seeing a dentist regularly.
One topic that is of interest is the possible links between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis. If you have a family history of either of these problems, this might be of particular interest to you. There is research that suggests a link between these two things.
What the research suggests…
University of Louisville’s School of Dentistry in Kentucky conducted a study and found that the bacterium that causes gum disease is also present in the early onset of rheumatoid arthritis. According to their study, the connection could possibly cause rheumatoid arthritis to progress more quickly and even become more severe. Rheumatoid arthritis can be a very debilitating and painful disease. Therefore, learning links like these is helpful in figuring out how to aid people with this form of arthritis.
More about the disease and the process…
According to the research, it seems that the bacteria from gum disease cause a reaction between some proteins. This makes the body respond to this reaction as if it were an intruder and prompts an immune attack. This attack causes inflammation. If this inflammation becomes chronic, it can destroy cartilage. Dr. Jan Potempa from the study notes that further research is needed to understand the link more fully.
What does all of this mean?
To reduce the chances of this link becoming a factor, regularly brush and floss your teeth. Additionally, seeing your dentist for checkups regularly is important. Maintaining regular, good oral hygiene habits could reduce the likelihood of rheumatoid arthritis as this study suggests.
Dental Partner of Boston is committed to giving the best gum disease treatment in Boston. We help you prevent and treat gum disease. We are also happy to answer any questions you might have about gum and periodontal disease. Contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment.