Dental Health and Arthritis
A recent study linked the bacteria that cause gum disease with early-onset rheumatoid arthritis. According to researchers at the University of Louisville’s School of Dentistry, the bacterium, P. gingivalis, releases an enzyme called arginine deiminases. These enzymes cause a reaction with protein arginine deiminases, or PADs, which the body sees as invasive. This prompts an attack by the immune system and chronic inflammation in the joints. Over time, the chronic inflammation can destroy the cartilage and bone in the joints, leading to the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
The researchers behind this study noted that those who suffer from periodontal disease are at an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis, and periodontal disease is twice as common in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Could good dental hygiene be the key to keeping your joints healthier? Scientists are continuing to study the link and hope to find new ways to prevent and treat this condition. Until then, good dental hygiene can help keep your mouth and your whole body healthier.
Gum disease has been linked to many other health problems ranging from pregnancy complications to dementia, and correct brushing and flossing techniques can reduce the risk of periodontitis. Get a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, and brush two times a day or after meals. Use dental floss or an interdental cleaner to clean around the gums and between your teeth. Finally, visit us twice a year for checkups and cleanings. We can provide you with preventive dentistry tips and recommendations for keeping your smile its best. Call us today to schedule your next checkup.
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