Everyday People Matter

Gum Disease Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis

| Feb 24, 2017 | Arthritis, Wellness studies

A recent study by leading researchers has found a potential connection between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Beautiful, healthy gums mean not just a perfect smile, but could also mean healthier joints for you. Those findings came from a study that was published recently in the journal, Science Translational Medicine.  Researchers from some of the best institutions in the United States, including Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, examined the gum fluid of people who suffer from periodontitis or gum disease, and found that the fluid contained high levels of a protein, which can trigger symptoms in people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

The findings of the study are far from conclusive. The researchers have no evidence to confirm that everybody who suffers from gum disease is at a high risk of suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, or that everyone who suffers from arthritis, will have the specific immune response to the protein found in the gum fluid. In spite of this, however, it’s good advice to keep your gums healthy.  Pay attention to oral hygiene, because other studies have also linked gum disease to a number of other conditions, including diabetes and stroke.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful condition characterized by inflammation and swelling in the joints. Over time, a person may suffer loss of cartilage in the joint and as a result, may suffer from loose, unstable joints. Mobility and movement is severely impacted.

The most common joints impacted by rheumatoid arthritis are in the feet, hands, wrists, knees and ankles. The pain and swelling can become so severe that the person may not be able to sit or stand for long periods of time, and may have difficult standing up after sitting.  All these limitations could affect a person’s ability to work in a productive work environment.

If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, or have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, continue treatment and speak with a disability lawyer to review your options.