Gum Disease More Common in People With RA

Gum Disease More Common in People With RA

dental instruments

Aug. 8, 2012 — People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may be up to four times more likely to have gum disease than people without this autoimmune disease. What’s more, gum disease is often more severe in people with RA, a new study suggests.

The findings, which appear in the Annals of Rheumatic Disease, add to a growing body of evidence linking oral health to systemic diseases including RA.

During RA, the body’s immune system misfires against its own joints and tissues, causing inflammation, joint damage, and pain.

The new study compared the teeth and gums of 91 people with RA and 93 age-matched individuals without RA. None of the participants were smokers, and none of the people with RA were taking RA drugs known as disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. Most participants were women and the average age was in the early 40s.

Close to 65% of people with RA had gum disease, compared with 28% of their RA-free counterparts. Gum disease was more severe in people with RA. People with RA also had deeper pockets between their gums and teeth (a sign of gum disease severity) than those without RA.  

People with RA and gum disease were also more likely to test positive for the presence of anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies (ACPA). Researchers suggest that these antibodies may generate and maintain inflammation in the mouth and elsewhere in the body. Levels of ACPA tended to be higher in people with RA and gum disease than in those with RA and no gum disease.

Oral Health and RA Are Linked

“The connection is there and it’s becoming better established,” says David Pisetsky, MD, PhD. He is the chief of rheumatology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

“If you have RA, go to the dentist regularly and don’t smoke,” he says. Smoking is known to worsen both RA and gum disease.

Gum disease is worse in people with RA, but we don’t yet know what comes first, the gum disease or the RA, says Eric Matteson, MD, MPH. He is the head of rheumatology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.  

“If you have RA and bad teeth, paying attention to your oral hygiene could be very important,” he says. “Chronic inflammation in your mouth can be an aggravating factor for chronic inflammation elsewhere, and this is not widely appreciated by patients or doctors.”

In this sense, “the new study should serve as a springboard to heightened awareness of this problem.”

Saul Pressner, DMD, says he would like to see people with RA come in up to four times a year for cleaning. He is a dentist in private practice in New York City.  

GD Star Rating


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Shopping Cart

There are no items in your cart.

Our Products

  • Credit Repair Guide

    There are many misconceptions about credit scores out there. There are customers who believe that they don’t have a credit score and many customers who think that their credit scores just don’t really matter. These sorts of misconceptions can hurt your chances at some jobs, at good interest rates, and even your chances of getting More Info »
  • Do-It-Yourself Loan Modification Software Kit

    The loan modification software guides the you the homeowner to the necessary calculations and forms that the banks are looking for, they are done for you instantly. You simply enter your information and the software does the rest. The software also integrates the new Obama home rescue program designed to give you homeowners a better More Info »
  • Free Short Sale e-Book

    WARNING: Do not list your home as a Short Sale until you have read this totally FREE report. This eBook can help you to buy another home in as little as 12 months!
  • Lender Forms

    An assorted collection of lender forms.





Call Now: 866-945-4215