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Is Arthritis Caused by a Dirty Mouth?

Of course, when we say a "dirty mouth" we don’t mean telling off-color jokes. The Dental Health Blog enjoys a good joke as much as anyone. No, when we refer to a dirty mouth we mean one that is unhealthy.

As it turns out, the effects of poor oral health on the rest of your body seem to be constantly expanding, with new research indicating that an unhealthy mouth may be the cause of, or at least a contributing factor to, your arthritis.

Poor oral health may cause rheumatoid arthritis

Researchers from the University of Louisville have determined that poor oral health can raise the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, based on the presence of an enzyme that exists in patients suffering from gum disease. This enzyme, called peptidylarginine deiminanse, has also been associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition in which one’s joints become swollen and painful, leading to decreased mobility and long-term discomfort.

The problem with this enzyme is that it results in the body transforming some proteins into a form of protein called citrulline. The body often confuses citrulline with other harmful enzymes and, "thinking" it will cause problems, attacks it. This produces inflammation in people who deal with autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Previous studies have pointed to links between oral health and rheumatoid arthritis, with many determining that the problem is more widespread among people with gum disease. The researchers also analyzed other forms of oral bacteria and concluded that none had any impact on rheumatoid arthritis.

More research on the relationship between oral health and rheumatoid arthritis could prove to be valuable. There is also a large amount of evidence that connects oral health and systemic problems. Many studies have shown the correlation between gum disease and a higher risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, and numerous other health problems.

The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all of your dental problems. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.

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