Oral Health and Rheumatoid Arthritis
November 11, 2022 By Shahrzad Parand
Although oral health research is not as common as other body domains and diseases, there is a strong association between oral diseases and chronic disorders such as Rheumatoid Arthrosis (RA). As an auto-immune disease leading to joint and bone inflammation, RA has some in common with gums inflammation resulting in tooth loss called Periodontitis. Bacteria accumulation and oral infection result in inflammation of gums and increase the inflammatory markers in the body, as RA does. Research shows that people with RA develop Periodontitis more than individuals without RA condition. On the other hand, oral infection releases factors in the body which induce RA-related symptoms, so Periodontitis is a risk factor for RA.
Moreover, RA symptoms reduce the quality-of-life routine activities, including teeth flossing and brushing. Therefore, the impairment caused by joint inflammation restricts individuals from taking good care of their teeth and gums, which can result in Periodontitis and gingivitis, a milder form of gum disease. Interestingly, research illustrates that treatments for RA reduce Periodontitis related symptoms, while regular periodontal therapy helps reduce RA symptoms. Confirming the connection between these two diseases (Persson, 2012).
RA is a chronic disease and can be life disturbing, especially if it leads to additional problems such as oral cavity diseases such as Periodontitis. Indeed, routine oral care, including self-hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly, is mandatory for all individuals; however, RA patients should take intensive care of their teeth and oral cavity.
Persson, G. R. (2012). Rheumatoid arthritis and periodontitis – inflammatory and infectious connections. Review of the literature. Journal of Oral Microbiology, 4(1), 11829. doi:10.3402/jom.v4i0.11829