Connection Between Periodontal Disease and Arthritis

periodontal disease and arthritis

It is hard to imagine that a disease that causes inflammation, stiffness and pain in your joints could be connected to periodontal or gum disease, but there is a connection. According to several recently released medical studies, there is significant evidence that there is a connection between periodontal disease and arthritis.

We will take a closer look at these medical studies and explain what the results could mean for you.

Tooth Loss from Periodontal Disease Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis

In a recent study, researchers noticed there appeared to be a link between tooth loss and rheumatoid arthritis. It appeared that individuals who had significant tooth loss from periodontal disease often had test results that put them in the diagnostic criteria for severe rheumatoid arthritis.

In another medical study, researchers looked at whether there was a connection between tooth loss and reports of symptoms that indicate the possibility of rheumatoid arthritis. The results of this study showed that people who had significant tooth loss reported experiencing pain and swelling in one or more joints. The more teeth that were missing the more likely it was that the individual would end up developing rheumatoid arthritis.

What Does the Connection Between Periodontal Disease and Arthritis Mean to You?

The biggest takeaway from the results of these medical studies is that there is a connection between periodontal disease and arthritis. Further research and studies will be needed to determine the exact connection between these two diseases, but it is clear there is one.

Until the exact connection between the two diseases is discovered, it is important that you take care of your oral health especially if you are at risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Taking care of your oral health may not prevent you from developing rheumatoid but it could help dramatically reduce any pain or stiffness you experience.

Steps to Take to Improve Your Oral Health

If you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis or believe you may be at risk for getting it, it is important that you take care of your oral health. Taking care of your oral health will not only help reduce any symptoms associated with arthritis, but it will help you save your teeth.

The following are some things you can do to improve your oral health:

  • Brush the recommended amount of times per day. Dentists recommend that you brush at least three times a day. It would be ideal if you brushed after every meal or snack, but that isn’t always possible.
  • Learn the proper way to brush your teeth. Brushing your teeth too hard or at a wrong angle can lead to tiny cuts or scratches on your gums. These cuts and scratches could become infected or lead to gum swelling.
  • Floss once a day. Just like with brushing your teeth, it is important that you learn the proper technique for flossing so as not to damage your gums.
  • Visit the dentist every three to six months. People who do not have a history of periodontal disease often are able to visit the dentist every six months. People who are at risk for periodontal disease or who have a history of it will often need to make appointments for a routine examination every three to four months.
  • Follow through with any recommended treatment. It is important that you follow through with any recommended treatment your dentist gives you. These treatments are needed to help improve your oral health. This is especially important if you need treatment for periodontal disease. Failing to treat it will only make the periodontal disease progress in severity.
  • Schedule an appointment if you suspect you are showing signs of periodontal disease. Most cases of periodontal disease produce no symptoms. It isn’t until it progresses to a severe case that symptoms start to develop. If you notice you have symptoms of periodontal disease, schedule an appointment with a dentist immediately. Treating it as soon as possible can prevent tooth loss.

Worried you may be suffering from periodontal disease? Call Hancock Village Dental today to schedule an appointment for a routine examination. If you do suffer from periodontal disease, our dentist will be able to provide you with treatment recommendations.