Inflammation has an impact on every facet of our lives.  Anyone who has ever dealt with pain, obesity, ADD or ADHD, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Migraines, or even Cancer has dealt with inflammation.  Unfortunately, this is just a partial list!  Today, we’ll talk about the relationship between Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Gum Disease, also known as Periodontal Disease (PD), and how they are interwoven because of their similar inflammatory pathways.  This is news that you and your loved ones can use because gum care may ease joint pain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis affects at least one out of every 20 adults over the age of 50.  It causes more disability than any other chronic disease, including heart disease and diabetes.  This was a shocker to me!  Also, it occurs at twice the rate in women over men.  Research suggests that there is indeed some genetic predisposing factor, but lifestyle has a lot to do with its severity.  

The connection between cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke has long been known with this autoimmune disorder.  The association between oral disease and RA has been considered since the early 1800’s when American physician and politician, Benjamin Rush, considered that tooth extraction was a cure for “rheuma.”  This early treatment of tooth removal for RA was continued until the early 20th century.  Both RA and PD are chronic diseases with “bursts” of disease activity.  In other words, they can seem to be under control and then have fluctuating episodes of severity.  

One of the common pathogens in PD is Porphyromonas gingivalis.  It makes a home down in the gum pocket and releases a soup of toxins that ignite the inflammatory cascade.  There has been an increasing interest in the connection between gum disease and other diseases that are affected by it. It makes total sense to me based on what I see clinically chairside.

So, what can you do to decrease your body’s inflammatory load?  START SOMEWHERE today addressing inflammation at its roots. Immunosuppressants only manage the symptoms but not the cause.  Here are some simple ways to start turning down this chronic fire in your mouth:

  • Tell yourself the truth.  If your gums bleed at all, then you have inflammation. This is a “red light” telling you to stop and get help.  Find a dentist who takes bleeding gums seriously.
  • Make sure you have a dentist who does an annual Comprehensive Periodontal Exam.  This is an objective way to detect pocket depth and bleeding points so that you know what needs to be done to restore your oral health.   
  • Consider Oral Probiotics.  Replenish is a pleasant-tasting meltaway that helps put good bacteria back in your mouth. These good bacteria can crowd out the bad bacteria and freshen breath.  I formulated them, and my patients love them!
  • Increase your intake of raw vegetables.  I recommend starting with two cups a day and working up to seven or eight cups.  A good supply of antioxidants reinforces your immune system to fight toxins.
  • Get serious about your home care.  Ask a qualified Dental Hygienist what specific routine you need.    

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Periodontal Disease share many commonalities.  PD and tooth loss due to PD may predict RA and its severity.  LIVE YOUNGER by addressing the inflammation at your fingertips.  You can feel confident that gum care may ease joint pain.  Today is the best day to START SOMEWHERE toward a healthier and more joyful future.  You can do it.  I will help you!

Gum Care May Ease Joint Pain

Gum Care May Ease Joint Pain