Is good dental health and rheumatoid arthritis related? According to recent studies, the health of your teeth and gums may have telltale clues to you developing rheumatoid arthritis. And when it comes to visiting the dentist Sarasota FL patients now have more dire reasons for regularly scheduled checkups. Gum problems can be the signal of a predisposition to rheumatoid arthritis. In clinical studies using mice, researchers have shown that when periodontitis is present, mice develop more severe forms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Previous studies have already revealed that those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease affecting the joints which cause loss of bone and cartilage, are more likely to lose their teeth, an evidence often associated with periodontitis. Thanks to this new discovery, researchers now want to see if taking care of gingival health can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
Researchers, using mice, have also shown that when suffering from gingival disorders, but not arthritis, they show signs of bone loss in the joints. However, in mice suffering only from arthritis, they show signs of bone loss in the jaws. Researchers say this explains that not only does gingival disease affect the tissues of the joints, but also arthritis affects the tissues of the mouth.
What is Gingival Disease And What Causes It?
Gingivitis is an inflammatory process due to which the gums swell, redden, become very sensitive to touch, bleed from contact with the brush or dental floss and cause pain when chewing. Untreated gingivitis evolves into periodontal disease. If you do not intervene promptly the damage becomes progressively worse, resulting in loss of bone and teeth.
Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of gingivitis. Food resides between the teeth or between the teeth and gums. This allows bacteria to colonize in the mouth and form plaque, a calcified layer that can only be removed by a dentist.
Besides the inadequate oral hygiene there are also other factors that may favor the onset of gingivitis, like medications, cavities, dentures that fit badly, or worn fillings. Visiting a dentist to rule out any oral problems will reduce the risk of developing the disease. It’s really important.
How To Treat This Disease?
To treat gingivitis and periodontal disease it is necessary to go to the dentist whom will perform a particular deep teeth cleaning that goes underneath the gums. Treatment varies, depending on early or late stage of periodontal disease. The worse the oral status, the more complex and demanding the treatment will become.
To prevent the disease you must perform an adequate and constant cleaning of the teeth and gums. Teeth should be brushed within 20 minutes of the end of each meal and always in the evening before going to sleep. Keep in mind that dental floss is not optional but a daily hygiene tool, which removes food from hard-to-reach places. More importantly, having regular dental checkups can not only diminish the risk of developing oral problems, as well as help to diagnose these problems early, but also can evaluate your risk for arthritis.