Friday, August 3, 2018

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gum Disease

At Dr. Dipika Shah’s Holmdel dental practice, we recognize that each of our patients has unique oral health needs that require compassionate, nonjudgmental care. One of the most frustrating conditions for patients is rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which doctors have recently discovered is linked to gum disease in unexpected ways.

According to a Johns Hopkins study, gum disease is twice as common in people with RA as in the general population. While this could partly be due to the difficulty people with limited dexterity have maintaining their oral hygiene, the study found that gum disease is common even in people whose RA has not yet progressed to that point. RA is an autoimmune disorder that causes the lining of joints, called synovium, to swell because they are under attack from the body’s immune system. Another study found that synovium shares genetic and structural traits with gum tissue, suggesting they are being harmed in similar ways.

One of the most significant steps people can take to avoid RA is to not smoke. But if a patient is suffering from RA, they can maintain their oral hygiene more easily with electric toothbrushes and water picks, as well as by maintaining regular appointments at our office.

Dr. Dipika Shah, Master in the Academy of General Dentistry, operates at 723 N Beers St, Suite 2F, Holmdel, New Jersey, 07733-1512. To schedule an appointment, call 732-264-8180 or visit Dentist NJ and fill out a contact form.


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