A Complete Health Dentist Discusses the Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gum Health
A complete health dentist warns that poor dental health can lead to problems developing in other areas of the body like the heart and lungs. It can lead to chronic conditions like some cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious health condition that may need to be monitored by a complete health dentist, especially if gum health is of concern.
A complete health dentist examines the link between gum disease and RA
Conditions like RA can have a significant impact on a person’s oral health. People with rheumatoid arthritis are eight times more likely to develop gum disease than those without the condition. Studies also show that people with RA experienced fewer symptoms after getting treatment for gum disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects a person’s dexterity, making simple tasks like brushing and flossing a challenge. Not being able to clean the mouth properly leaves teeth vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease.
Medications used to treat RA can also have a negative effect on a person’s oral health. Some drugs weaken the immune system, making it harder to fight off infections. Gum disease leads to inflation which also happens to be one of the leading causes of death.
A complete health dentist describes inflammation as the immune system’s way of dealing with bacteria and viruses. When a person has an autoimmune disorder like RA, their immune system wrongly triggers inflammation even though their bodies are not being attacked by viruses or bacteria. It is this inflammation that causes the person’s joints to become stiff, swollen, and painful.
Gum disease also leads to inflammation and that might be one of the reasons why these two conditions are linked to each other. Managing the inflammation caused by gum disease can help to alleviate the symptoms of gum disease.
RA medication and gum disease
Pain killers are typically used to manage the pain and discomfort caused by RA, and many of these dry out the mouth. Oral bacteria thrive when the mouth is dry since there is less saliva to wash them away. People with dry mouth often find themselves dealing with problems like tooth decay, mouth sores and gum disease.
Gum disease can be a tricky condition to treat since most people who have it are not aware of their condition. It rarely leads to pain or discomfort until it has already reached its later stages. Gum disease often goes undiagnosed until a dentist spots it during a routine examination.
The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis and it can be reversed with good oral hygiene. The later stage of the condition requires treatments like deep cleanings to prevent the progression of the disease. Keeping the mouth healthy serves as an effective treatment for RA.
Get treatments that are needed
A complete health dentist can help you to manage gum disease and prevent it from making the symptoms of RA worse. We can work together with a doctor to get the best results possible. Call or visit our Minnetonka clinic to set up an appointment with our complete health dentist.
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