Conditions like arthritis can have a direct impact on your oral health. Over the last decade doctors have discovered a strong link between oral health and total body health.
According to Sally Cram of the American Dental Association, physicians are taking a holistic approach to their patients’ overall health. The same can be said for the doctors at Farber Center.
What Does Arthritis Have to Do With My Mouth?
The common thread is inflammation. Poor dental hygiene can result in high bacteria build-up on teeth, which make gums prone to infection. The gums then become inflamed as a result of the immune system attacking the infection. If left untreated, a person can develop periodontal disease and tooth loss, and may predict rheumatoid arthritis in its severity.
A recent study showed that people with serious gum disease were 40% more likely to have an additional chronic condition.
A study of early arthritis cemented the correlation between gum disease and arthritis. Participants with one or more swollen joints had significant tooth loss compared with those without swollen joints.
Ultimately, the two conditions have a direct relationship – people with rheumatoid arthritis tended to have more periodontal disease and people with periodontal disease tended to have more rheumatoid arthritis. However, more and more doctors are finding that periodontal disease precedes rheumatoid arthritis.
What Can I Do?
- Using an electric toothbrush can make brushing easier if you are suffering from arthritis.
- Try using floss picks for flossing to put less stress on your wrists.
- Buy a toothpaste pump to prevent struggling with that tube.
- Stop smoking – smoking is one of the leading causes of gum disease.
To learn more about the connection between oral health and arthritis please visit our Farber Center social media pages all month long for important facts and information.