What Is the Relationship Between Periodontal Disease and Joint Problems?
Joint problems – including joint pain, swelling, tenderness, inflammation and limited range of motion, are all problems which can create great difficulties in one’s life. These are all the common symptoms of Arthritis and its 100 different types. One who suffers from these problems experiences many troubles in the everyday life, being unable to complete the activities that usually engages in, such as walking, cooking, cleaning, taking part in their work, going out with friends etc. Unfortunately, there are many factors that add up to the occurrence of these joint problems. Apart from old age, obesity, smoking, stress, and low level of physical activity are also quite the common risk factors that are to blame for the development of joint problems. And as it turns out, periodontal disease is also quite the big risk factor that influences the occurrence and development of joint pain, stiffness, tenderness, and inflammation.
In today’s article, what we want to discuss is the link between periodontal disease and joint problems. How often is periodontal disease linked to the common joint problems? And why is that? How is that something that affects our gums, goes so far to affecting our joints as well? If you are interested enough to find out, please do stay with us through the following article.
What do you need to know about the Periodontal disease?
We all have had our experience with bleeding gums at some point in our lives. But how often do we seek help for our bleeding gums? Do you go to the dentist whenever you have a problem with your bleeding gums, or do you leave them untreated? When left untreated, swollen and bleeding gums are attacked by bacteria which affects our gums and leads to the development of the Periodontal disease. This bacteria is constantly present in our mouth, along with the mucus-producing a plaque over our teeth. The plaque is normally removed by washing our teeth on a regular basis. But what happens if you do not take the necessary steps towards keeping your oral hygiene at a high level? We will tell you what happens – not only does tooth decay happen but so does Periodontal disease! First gingivitis develops, causing our gums to become red, swollen and to bleed easily. When gingivitis is left untreated, Periodontal disease follows. Periodontal disease, also known by the term of gum disease, is a term that is being used to refer to a group of infections of the structures that surround our teeth – that being mainly the gums, but also the cementum that covers the root, the periodontal ligament, and the alveolar bone. The characteristic pockets are formed where the bacteria take place and create the harmful infection that we all fear of. Eventually, the Periodontal disease causes our teeth to become loose until they star Discussing the Link Between Periodontal Disease and Joint Problems to fall out easily. The exact causes of the Periodontal disease are still unknown, however hormonal imbalances, smoking, stress, and the use of certain medications have been listed [i] as the most common risk factors for Periodontal disease. Then there is also the genetic predisposition that many people have towards gum diseases. Diabetes is also quite the common risk factor for Periodontal disease as well. In fact, there is an existence between a two-way relationship between diabetes and periodontitis where diabetes is a known risk factor for periodontitis but periodontitis as well as a risk factor for developing diabetes. Periodontitis is also known to increase the risk for heart disease[ii], stroke, cancer and even pre-term labor [iii]and low-birth weight among babies if the mother is suffering from periodontitis in the nine months of pregnancy.
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The link between Periodontal disease and joint problems
For centuries now, researchers have been investigating the link between Periodontal disease and a number of medical issues including premature birth, stroke, heart disease, and as it turns out – joint problems. In fact, the Periodontal disease has been commonly noticed to develop among patients who have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis, causing their joint problems – joint pain, swelling, inflammation and reduced range of motion to progress even further. It has been suggested that these the process that occurs due to this common inflammatory disease, causes our immune system to weaken creating an opportunity for the Periodontal disease to develop easier. But it goes the other way as well since these two conditions, although are quite different when looked [iv]at the structures that they attack, the process is quite alike – while the Periodontal disease causes teeth and connective tissue distraction, the Rheumatoid arthritis causes bone and connective tissue destruction as well. A study vdone tested this link between Periodontal disease and joint problems caused by Rheumatoid arthritis. What the study found was that deep professional cleaning of the teeth and good oral hygiene helped the test group to reduce their joint problems such as swelling, pain, and inflammation linked to Rheumatoid arthritis. Another study published [vi]in the Journal of Dental Research not only did found positive information that would support the association between Rheumatoid arthritis and Periodontal disease but also, clearly stated that the treatment of Periodontal disease resulted in a clear reduction of the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis. Knowing all the facts, we can say for sure that Periodontal disease can cause worsening of your joint problems, which have developed due to any cause, including Arthritis. By treating and preventing Periodontal disease, you increase your chances of improving your joint problems.
A periodontal disease which causes teeth and connective tissue destruction has now been linked to joint problems such as joint pain, swelling, inflammation and reduced joint movement, based on real scientific research. Periodontal disease is considered to cause an enhancement of these and many other joint symptoms and lead to worsening of the patient’s condition. It has been scientifically proven that the treatment of Periodontal disease has helped with the reduction of the joint pain, swelling, inflammation, and reduced range of motion, within patients with Rheumatoid arthritis. Prevention of the Periodontal disease and early treatment should help getting rid of this disease, but also to improve one’s health condition and reduce the joint problems which can easily cause everyday difficulties. In addition, dentists and doctors all around the world should take the necessary steps towards proper education about the Periodontal disease and the risks that it brings into one’s life, especially among the patients with Rheumatoid arthritis. We have to understand that we are dealing with a serious health issue that could be potentially life-threatening If left untreated and so, prevention and early treatment means everything.
[i] Muhammed A, Prevalence of periodontal disease, its association with systemic diseases and prevention. International Journal of Health Sciences, 2017
[ii] Dhadse P, Gattani D, Mishra R, The link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease: How far we have come in last two decades?, Journal of Indian Society & Periodontology, 2010
[iii] Walia M, Saini N, Relationship between periodontal diseases and preterm birth: Recent epidemiological and biological data, International Journal of Applied & Basic Medical Research, 2015
[iv] Surena V, Abdolrahman R, Ghazaleh B, Characteristics and relationship of periodontal disease with idiopathic juvenile arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Dental Research Journal, 2015
[v] Al-Katma MK, Bissada NF, Bordeaux JM, Sue J, Askari AD, Control of periodontal disease reduces the severity of active rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, 2007
[vi] Kaur S, White S, Bartold PM, Periodontal diseases and rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review, Journal of Dental Research, 2013