Past studies have found that rheumatoid arthritis is more common in people who have gum disease. A new study done by University of Louisville researchers has found that an enzyme (peptidylarginine deiminanse) is present when a person has gum disease. This enzyme has also been linked with rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that causes pain and swelling in the joints.
Peptidylarginine deiminanse can cause the body to transform certain proteins into citrulline, a different form of protein. The problem is that citrulline confuses the body, so the body attacks it because it thinks that it is harmful and will cause problems. The result is inflammation in those who have rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune disorders.
A large body of work supports an association between systemic problems and oral health. Studies have found a relationship between gum disease and heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, a higher risk of stroke, and many other health related problems.
When you maintain effective oral hygiene practices and visit your dentist regularly, you are protecting your overall wellness as well as your oral health.