Arthritis from poor gum health? There’s growing evidence
The link between poor gum health and arthritis goes back millennia, with Hippocrates, commonly known as “the father of Western medicine,” suggesting how pulling teeth could cure arthritis. Fortunately, with the number of dental treatments available these days, pulling out teeth shouldn’t be necessary! But the Greek physician did have a point – he recognized very early on the connection between poor gum health and joint issues.
When gums become infected, the immune system starts to kick in and attack the invading bacteria, which is trying to kill off not only the surrounding gum tissue but also that of the joints.
A Stanford University graduate student, Camile Brewer, says, “We discovered that the immune response to oral bacteria in the blood was associated with joint flare-ups.” As the lead author of a recent study, which experimented with scheduling regular blood tests for people with and without rheumatoid arthritis, Brewer and her team discovered the first real-time link between oral bacteria and joint pain.
The more the immune system attacks its own tissues, the more painful the joints become. William Robinson, a Stanford professor of Medicine, says, “Within 10 years of onset, 50 per cent of people with rheumatoid arthritis are disabled and unable to work.”
Hundreds of studies over the last few decades have investigated how severe oral disease can worsen other serious conditions. These include diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, dementia, colorectal cancer and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) which affects millions of people in the US.
“There’s increasing evidence that periodontitis (gum disease) exacerbates other inflammatory diseases.”– Thomas Van Dyke, vice president of clinical and translational research at the Massachusetts-based Forsyth Institute and professor at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine
A greater understanding of the link between oral health and joint health can provide better arthritis treatment that prevents joint flare-ups.
A 2019 study conducted by a team including Purnima Kumar, who chairs the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, compared samples of microbes in plaque from 22 patients with RA with samples from 19 people who showed no sign of joint problems. The team discovered that the presence of RA correlated with the balance of bacteria in the mouth, even in patients that had healthy gums. Kumar remarks, “When you have periodontal disease or rheumatoid arthritis, you have dysbiosis”—a loss of beneficial bacteria, which creates a pathogen-rich environment in the mouth.
Another study shows more serious periodontal disease in RA patients with advanced joint pain, such as deep ulcerations and tooth loss.
Although Brewer’s study linked oral bacteria in the blood to joint flare-ups, it didn’t directly look at the mouth or the joints themselves. The study did, however, lead to the hypothesis that antibodies multiplying in the blood that target oral bacteria also target the joints.
Nevertheless, Brewer’s study was small and will take more research to see exactly how these oral and joint diseases interact and identify the oral bacteria that worsen joint problems.
Treating oral health for whole-body health
While everyone experiences some form of plaque in their mouths, some people are more susceptible to strong inflammatory responses.
More data is emerging that people with periodontitis are at greater risk of developing RA and other inflammatory diseases.
To ascertain whether good oral health could help patients with RA, Kumar and her team treated the patients’ oral disease with a deep dental cleaning. They compared the inflammatory markers in the mouth and systemic markers in the blood before and after the cleaning and found that the markers that were specific for RA had dropped.
These results show that “along with treating your arthritis, you should also be treating your gum disease to break the cycle,” Kumar says. She advises seeking professional care immediately if you notice blood when you spit after brushing and flossing. This is the first sign of gum disease and should be nipped in the bud right away. Diligently practising an effective home oral care routine with a gum-supportive preparation is essential. And if necessary, dental professionals can help with simple and deep cleanings or surgery that can help build back lost tissue. Kumar says, “If you care about your body, you need to protect the doors to your house.”
Build back lost tissue with Good-Gums
Thousands of our customers have used Good-Gums with great success when confronted with gum disease. You can take a look at what our customers say here.
Good-Gums all-natural solution for gum health is specifically formulated to help the gums effectively fight gum disease and recover from its ravages.
We use 100% natural ingredients – sourced from the purest places on the planet – that are designed to work with your body’s natural healing processes. Each ingredient has undergone multiple screening procedures to ensure the highest quality for you and your gums. We jam-pack essential vitamin, herbal, and mineral ingredients that your gums need to thrive, so that with every use, you can actually feel your gums absorbing the goodness present in every particle of Good-Gums.
Particularly for connective tissue cells (which is what gums are made of), to support their formation requires a substantial amount of vitamin C. Good-Gums offers a healthy amount of vitamin C, plus citrus bioflavonoids that help the body utilize the vitamin C. This health-supporting formula dissolves in the mouth to be absorbed directly by the gums to give help where it’s needed the most.
Check out different ways to use Good-gums for receding gums here, and scroll to the bottom.
Good-Gums is here to lend you a helping hand and bring your gums (and your confidence) back to life!
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