Rheumatoid Arthritis

How Does Your Oral Health Link to Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Inflammatory arthritis is painful in numerous ways: Your hands, feet, back, and buttocks Even though they may appear to be completely unrelated topics, did you know that diseases like rheumatoid arthritis can also affect your oral health?

Yes, that is what you heard! Gum disease is probably more likely to occur in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

The medical community has been shocked by this news, and arthritis sufferers are concerned. In this article, let us explore the possibility of a link between oral health and arthritis by delving deeply into this subject. So, let’s get started and figure out how oral health and arthritis are linked!

Rheumatoid arthritis: What Is It?

The chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease, known as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), affects the joints in the hands, wrists, and knees. It is a condition characterized by the immune system’s attack on healthy cells as well as its defense against harmful invaders.

The destruction of articular cartilage and bone is one effect of rheumatoid arthritis. The bones in the joints are protected by articular cartilage which acts as a shock absorber and assists the bones in moving smoothly when they are flexing or straightening. Having RA destructs both bone and articular cartilage leading to the weakening of the bones.

Arthritis and oral health are linked by inflammation, which is common in both conditions. The bacteria that cause gum disease may be able to enter the bloodstream, spread to other parts of the body, including the joints, and cause joint inflammation, according to one theory. This can worsen existing arthritis symptoms or cause arthritis to develop. There is also the possibility that gum disease-induced inflammation weakens the immune system, making it more vulnerable to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

According to a 2023 study, people with periodontitis—gum inflammation—and missing teeth had a higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis. The likelihood of developing RA may be reduced by practicing good oral hygiene on a regular basis by scaling one’s teeth and brushing one’s teeth frequently.

Nearly half of the people in the U.S. have periodontitis, a gum infection that causes bone loss in the mouth, and 90% have had at least one cavity. About 4% have a mouth sore at any given time.

How rheumatoid arthritis affects oral health?

Because rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease, it can have a number of negative effects on your dental health. Gum disease, a leading cause of tooth decay and oral infections, can be brought on by inflammation.

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis may be more susceptible to oral health conditions like gingivitis and periodontitis even in the early stages. Swollen gums are typically a sign of gingivitis, whereas periodontitis affects the bone and tissue that keep teeth in place. Gingivitis can progress into periodontitis if it is not treated with proper care.

People with rheumatoid arthritis may also experience Sjogren’s syndrome, loss of jaw motion and pain, tooth sensitivity, staining on the surface of the teeth, infections, teeth bleeding, bad breath, swollen gums, and other oral health issues. Additionally, this inflammatory condition has a negative impact on the salivary glands, resulting in tooth decay, dry mouth, and difficulty swallowing.

Due to stiff and painful joints in the hands, wrists, and shoulders, some rheumatoid arthritis patients find it difficult to properly brush and floss their teeth. Infections are more likely to occur at the same time if proper oral hygiene is not practiced. 

Gum Disease Treatment Aids Rheumatoid Arthritis 

Rheumatoid arthritis can be devastating, but maintaining good oral hygiene may lessen its effects. Make sure to find out if you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), particularly if it runs in your family, in addition to having your teeth cleaned at least once a year. Get in touch with DLW right away, get a timely diagnosis, and keep RA symptoms at bay.