Researchers have new evidence that suggests that microorganisms responsible for chronic inflammatory gingival infections may also trigger rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The latest research from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore has implications for prevention and treatment of RA. The findings point to a certain oral bacteria as causing a cascade of inflammatory events, which links the periodontal infection to the autoimmunity in RA.
Periodontal disease and RA may be closely associated, as researchers feel that common factors may link the conditions. The John Hopkins team discovered that a process found in the joints of patients with RA was also noted in the gingiva of patients with periodontitis. Furthermore, the oral bacteria in periodontitis that is responsible for the inflammatory cascade, is the only pathogen that could trigger the process that attacks tissues.
Prevention of all forms of gum disease is the key. Regular cleanings and early treatment of periodontitis can reduce the abundance of the destructive pathogens that have been linked to RA. If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!