Gum Disease Risk May Be Higher for Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012, 4:06 pm

A study published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases shows an association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Scientists think that a bacterium involved in gum disease Porphyromonas gingivalis can even act as a trigger to RA in people that are genetically susceptible to it. This latest study found that the odds of having gum disease were four times greater among patients with RA.Toccoa dentist Dr. Joseph Wilbanks shares data about gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

RA is a chronic autoimmune disease, meaning it is caused when the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues – at this time there is no clear reason why this occurs. RA causes inflammation in the joints and can affect other organs as well. About 1% of the population has RA and it affects women most often. 70% of RA sufferers are female. There is no cure but early treatment can reduce the damage caused by the disease.

This was a small study, but if keeping your mouth healthy can reduce the risk of this painful autoimmune disease then it is one more reason not to skip those regular dental visits. The price of a dental hygiene visit is a small amount to pay compared to the benefit your body receives when it is free of infection and inflammation caused by gum disease.

Find out more about your healthy mouth today by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439. We’ll be glad to schedule your visit and get you on the track to a healthy mouth and a healthier you!

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