A recent study in Science Translational Medicine has found that gum disease-causing bacteria may also trigger inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The accumulation of mouth bacteria not only affects your oral health, but also your joint health. This may be the closest any research has come to uncovering the root cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
RA is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints as opposed to attacking foreign substances like bacteria and viruses for the benefit of its health. This causes inflammation, swelling, pain, and stiffness, which typically begins with the small joints of the hands and feet. If inflammation goes unchecked, it can damage cartilage and bones in the body. According to arthritis.org, about 1.5 million people in the United States have RA and nearly three times as many women have the disease as men.
Not everyone with gum disease develops rheumatoid arthritis, and not everyone with rheumatoid arthritis has had previous gum disease. However, the research findings provide a better understanding of autoimmune disease causes, which currently have no definitive cause. Treat your teeth to the best of your ability. In order to upkeep your healthy smile and divert gum disease, continue brushing your teeth, flossing, and rinsing regularly.
Call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bruce Silva today. Call us at (512) 605-0860. You may also make an appointment online.