In fact, it has recently been acknowledged in clinical studies that periodontal (gum) disease has an effect on the health of your joints.
Periodontal disease is the infection of the tissues that hold the teeth in the mouth. This can occur when bacteria levels in the mouth are unregulated. Bacteria naturally resides in the mouth, but proper oral care ensures that the amount of bacteria does not get out of control. Without regular brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings, harmful bacteria multiplies quickly both above and below the gumline.
Over time, that bacteria known as calculus eats away at both the gum and bone tissue. This leads to a number of different uncomfortable symptoms, such as:
While studies are still being conducted for more conclusive information, a clear connection between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis has been found.
RA is an inflammatory autoimmune disease in which the body mistakenly triggers inflammation to attack its own tissues. The lining of the joints is most heavily affected, and over time, joint deformity and bone erosion may occur in severe cases.
A 2018 study conducted by the European League Against Rheumatism (ELAR) concluded that gum disease may in fact be a key factor in the development and progression of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Both periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis are inflammatory diseases. During the study, it was found that a considerable percentage of people who were high-risk for developing RA were already diagnosed with gum disease. An excerpt from the study reads:
“In results from the study, dentists diagnosed clinical gum disease in significantly more at-risk individuals than in healthy controls. In addition, the percentage of sites with clinical attachment level, pocket depth 4mm, bleeding on probing, periodontal disease (PDD), and active periodontal disease, were all significantly greater in the at-risk individuals compared to controls. In non-smokers, PDD and active PDD were more prevalent in at-risk individuals compared to controls.”
As we continue to learn more about the connection between joint and gum health, it becomes more and more apparent that it is absolutely crucial to properly manage your oral health in order to promote the health of the rest of your body. Brushing and flossing twice daily, in conjunction with regular dental cleanings and check-ups, is a great place to start. Speak with your dentist to learn more about how to best manage your oral health.
EZ Dental is proud to offer the best gum disease treatment in San Jose, CA; we will help you maintain the healthiest smile possible.
For more information about periodontal disease or to get scheduled for an appointment in our San Jose dental office, give us a call at (408) 227-6000.
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