Rheumatoid Arthritis & Gum Disease

Do you have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)arthritic hands shutterstock free 377633038?

 

Do you have gum disease?

 

According to a recent study at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, symptoms of gum disease are common in patients with RA. In fact, it may be an independent indicator of disease activity.

 

Approximately 20 million people have RA worldwide. It is an auto-immune disease that causes the body to become confused between healthy tissues and foreign substances and attacks itself. In addition to the pain, stiffness, swelling, and joint damage most people know about, RA can cause inflammation in and damage to other organs, too. In particular, RA can affect the heart or the lungs.

 

According to the findings of this study, patients with more active RA tend to have more symptoms of gum disease. Additionally, RA patients are twice as likely as others to have gum disease. In fact, “more than 30 percent have severe periodontal disease (according to 2007 CDC criteria), which may need surgical intervention.”

 

It is important to tell your dentist if you have been diagnosed with RA. You may need more frequent visits to your dentist to manage your oral health. The authors of this study point out that treatment of periodontal disease may be linked to improvement of symptoms in other systemic diseases, including RA, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

 

If you have RA, call me today.