Rheumatoid Arthritis Leads to Mouth, Joint Inflammation

Rheumatoid arthritis apparently adversely impacts one’s oral health.

A new study showed that periodontitis shares pathogenic mechanisms with rheumatoid arthritis and could cause it to trigger. The information was presented at the 93rd General Session and Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

During the study, researchers conducted examinations to the joints and oral health, in addition to pinpointing Porphyromonas gingivalis antibodies and examining inflammatory microenvironments in early and chronic rheumatoid arthritis patients.

The study included 23 rheumatoid arthritis patients and 20 without periodontitis or rheumatoid arthritis. There were 20 inflammatory mediators that analyzed serum, saliva, gingival crevicular fluid and joint fluid.

Then, all but one of the 23 patients received dental care. Of these 23 patients, 10 had gingivitis and nine had periodontitis. The patients with rheumatoid arthritis showed increased pocket depth, clinical attachment loss, bleeding on probing and gingival crevicular fluid volume compared to the healthy subjects. Six of the 23 patients displayed P. gingivalis antibodies and all six of those had periodontitis.

The patients with rheumatoid arthritis all showed a marked inflammatory profile in all micromovements even with routine dental care. The researchers determined that P. gingivalis antibodies may be considered as biomarkers for rheumatologists in determining who could possibly benefit from periodontal treatment.