How does rheumatoid arthritis affect oral health and what are prevention methods?

Written by Mervat Rashad

Thursday, March 16, 2023 08:00 PM

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes pain in the joints, which occurs when the joints malfunction immune system It targets the synovial membrane, which is the lining of the joints. The condition usually affects the same joint on both sides of the body, such as both hands or knees, and is most common in the hands, knees, or ankles. Rheumatoid arthritis also affects other body systems, including the eyes and heart. and blood circulation or lungs. Interestingly, your oral health may be affected by having rheumatoid arthritis. Here’s what you need to know about the effect of rheumatoid arthritis on your oral health, according to “doctor.ndtv.”

How does rheumatoid arthritis relate to our oral health?

For nearly a century, researchers hypothesized a link between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, but the picture has recently become clearer. Certain mouth bacteria known to cause gum disease may also act as a trigger for rheumatoid arthritis. joints or exacerbation.

The same microorganism likely causes rheumatoid arthritis and infections associated with dental disease. Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans has been identified by researchers as a cause of gum disease and chronic periodontitis. Basically, the bacteria cause the synthesis of mutant proteins, which the immune system mistakes for foreign substances. According to scientists, the inflammatory response to bacteria may spread throughout the body and cause rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

In addition, the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint) that opens and closes the mouth can be affected by arthritis. Inflammation can develop along the tendons, which can hurt the joint and make opening the mouth painful or difficult.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis or another type of arthritis, you should be aware of these symptoms. To get a better view of that joint and determine if there are any problems with inflammation, some types of X-rays can be helpful. By using a bite guard at night, you may reduce TMJ symptoms.

Although the association between periodontal disease and RA is widely recognized in the medical field, and we are aware that oral flora may influence RA, however, not all patients will experience an A-to-B relationship. In other words, having rheumatoid arthritis may prevent you from developing gum disease and vice versa. Since rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can take years to appear, someone with gum disease likely had them for ten years before receiving an RA diagnosis without realizing the connection.

How do you maintain better oral health?

Make sure you brush and floss regularly because your oral health can affect your physical health. Go for a battery-operated toothbrush if brushing a traditional toothbrush is painful or difficult. Cigarette smoking and chewing tobacco can exacerbate oral health problems.

Those taking immunosuppressive medications may have problems with oral bacterial infections. Swelling around the tooth or above the jaw, severe pain, fever, and swollen nodes surrounding the jaw are all indications of infection. Regular dental visits are important.

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