Have you been to your dental hygienist or dentist lately? You may want to call one of our Perth area offices immediately after reading this. A study at the University of Adelaide recently indicated that gum disease can greatly increase your chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
The study took place at the Colgate Australian Clinical Dental Research Centre at the University of Adelaide. Professor Mark Bartold, director of the centre, has shown that “multiple processes that occur in the body” of those who develop periodontal disease can predict the onset of RA later in life.
The major culprit: periodontitis, which is the loss of tissue and bone around the teeth. Globally, as many as 60% of adults suffer from this condition. According to professor Bartold, the process begins when the patient develops early periodontitis or gingivitis. The body begins to modify proteins via two processes: carbamylation and citrullination. The body produces antibodies to these modified proteins.
Both of these protein altering processes also occur in RA, which attacks the immune system. Professor Bartold believes these processes provide a link between RA and periodontal disease. According to Professor Bartold, the gum disease “primes” the body for RA via carbamylation and citrullination.
Professor Bartold notes that only 1% of the population suffers from RA, so periodontitis doesn’t guarantee the development of RA. However, he advocates research finding ways to inhibit carbamylation and citrullination in hopes that they can lessen the risk of RA.
What to Do About It
We think it is important that everyone begins a program of preventative dental care as soon as possible. Ideally, it begins as children. At 1300 Great Smile, we provide a program where you are seen by a dental hygienist and a dentist on a regular basis in one of our Perth area offices.
It is our mission to provide a high standard of dental care experience. Our staff is caring and professional. Patients are not just a number at 1300 Great Smile.
Call(08) 9404 9500 today to learn more.