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Periodontal Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis | McKinney TX Dentist

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 Periodontal Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis | McKinney TX Dentist



Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) share a connection as systemic inflammatory disorders. This link stems from their mutual tendency to provoke immune system responses that target the body’s own tissues, resulting in tooth loss and joint pain. Understanding this connection is crucial for safeguarding your overall health.

Numerous studies have underscored the strong correlation between RA and gum disease, both of which involve inflammation—an immune system reaction aimed at combating viruses and bacteria. However, in the case of RA, the immune system mistakenly triggers inflammation even in the absence of such pathogens. This chronic inflammation exacerbates the severity and progression of both conditions. Notably, research published in the journal PLoS Pathogens has revealed that Porphyromonas gingivalis, the bacterium responsible for periodontal disease, can exacerbate RA symptoms, leading to an earlier onset and more rapid progression of the disease.

For individuals living with rheumatoid arthritis, maintaining optimal oral hygiene is paramount. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are essential components of dental care, but they can pose challenges for those grappling with RA-related hand or jaw stiffness and pain. Collaborating with healthcare professionals, including both physicians and periodontists, is crucial for devising personalized treatment plans that address the unique needs of individuals with both gum disease and RA. Annual evaluations by a dentist can help monitor gum health and facilitate timely intervention if necessary. Research indicates that effectively treating gum disease in patients with RA can lead to improvements in pain and other symptoms associated with the condition.

Here are some practical tips to help manage dental care more effectively if you’re living with RA:

  • Modify your toothbrush by attaching a tennis ball or bicycle grip to enhance grip and control.
  • Experiment with different types of floss to find one that is easier to handle.
  • Consider using toothpaste in a pump dispenser, which may be simpler to use than traditional squeeze tubes.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the interplay between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office. Schedule a consultation to explore how we can support your oral health needs and overall well-being.

Ascent Dental of McKinney
Phone: 214-842-8825
312 N Central Expy
McKinney, TX 75070
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