Among many recent advances in the medical field, we are becoming more aware of the connection between gum health and overall wellness every year. 2015 saw some new research in this department, with more awareness than ever before placed on the link between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis, or RA. Both chronic, non-curable diseases, the similarities between the two are surprising… and may have something to do with the connection. Read on to learn more, and about what it may mean for the health care of your loved one.
Gum disease, RA more connected than you think
Upon first examination, it’s surprising that gum disease is so similar to rheumatoid arthritis, the inflammatory disorder affecting the joints. But the commonalities are actually fairly easy to see — some of them include:
- Chronic inflammation in soft tissue near the bone
- Nearly identical immunological and pathological processes
- Similar antibodies present in both conditions
- Strong genetic connection between the two
And more than this, the symptoms of both conditions — namely pain and inflammation — are identical. Both lead to bone loss if left untreated.
Given these significant similarities, it’s no wonder that the two are often found together. But there is encouraging news in the fact that recent research has shown that successful gum disease treatment can help to improve RA symptoms. It’s thought that by reducing the swelling in the gums, overall inflammation is reduced.
What does this mean for you and your loved one?
If you or a loved one are suffering from RA and/or gum disease, know that extra-vigilant dental care is vital for your oral and overall health. Ignoring the periodontal condition could negatively impact your general well being, so make sure you or your loved one are receiving the oral care you need. Remember that successful gum disease therapy can help to reduce the symptoms of RA — welcome news for anyone suffering from this painful condition.
Therapy for periodontal disease can include any of the following:
- Scaling and root planing, or a deep clean of the teeth and gums
- Antibiotic therapy
- Surgical intervention for the most severe cases of gum disease
If you’ve got questions regarding the gum health or overall well being of someone you love, please don’t hesitate to contact LifeCycle Dental. We’re here to help you and your loved ones enjoy comfortable, effective dental care. Contact us today.
We consulted Dental Economics for information on the latest periodontal research.