We all know that your mouth is the gateway to your body, but we now know that the bacteria in your mouth can get into your bloodstream and cause serious systemic problems. One of those complications is rheumatoid arthritis.
It is generally believed that the bacteria that live on and in the human body are mostly useful and protective – helping with digestion and protecting against pathogens and swelling. However, there are some harmful bacteria living in our mouths as well. There are complex connections between the immune system and bacteria in the mouth, lungs and intestinal tract. These connections led to further research on the link between rheumatoid arthritis and gum disease.
RECENT DISCOVERY LINKS GUM DISEASE AND RA Researchers recently discovered that a specific bug or bacteria in gum infections are the same ones that cause RA. This bug in turn triggers the production of certain proteins, which are suspected of activating problems in the immune system – leading directly to RA. The researchers also found that bone erosion and tissue damage in both diseases are caused by similar inflammatory processes. This adds to the data already showing that rheumatoid arthritis is linked to gum health.
These latest findings will have important implications in determining the root cause of RA, as well as hopefully preventing and treating it in the future. Technological advancements in both dentistry and medicine offer hope for people with RA and other inflammatory diseases. Staying educated about the advancements and treatments available to you is the key to helping treat and control your arthritis. Take advantage of all of the on-line educational resources about Rheumatoid Arthritis and keep in contact with your doctor for new treatments or ways to control your symptoms.