The John Hopkins University School of Medicine, one of the nation's most respected institutions when it comes to medical breakthroughs has announced their discovery that the bacteria responsible for inflammatory gum infections also causes the inflammatory response found in rheumatoid arthritis.
This breakthrough could bring about new treatments and the possible prevention of the disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis, also known as RA, is the second most common form of arthritis. It is a debilitating condition in which joints become inflamed, leading to pain, stiffness, swelling and lethargy.
Having long believed that gum disease played a part in many internal inflammatory conditions, Felipe Andrade, associate professor of medicine at the John Hopkins Bayview Medical center said, “This is like putting the last few pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that I’ve been working on for many years.
Dr. Maximillion Konig added, “This research may be the closest we’ve come to discovering the root cause of RA.”
Although the link between gum disease and Rheumatoid arthritis has been suspected for many years, some say as far back as the early 1900s, it wasn’t until scientists discovered that the process called hypercitrullination was occurring in the joints of those suffering from RA, was also occurring in the mouths of those patients with gum disease.
Citrullination is a natural function in our bodies that regulate how proteins work. This process, however, becomes overactive in people with RA, causing an abnormal accumulation of proteins.
Andrade said, “This condition cause the creation of antibodies to offset this condition. Unfortunately, it also causes inflammation and the breakdown of tissue which is the hallmark of rheumatoid arthritis.”
He went on to say that, “Other bacteria in the stomach, lung or other organs may be using similar mechanisms to bring about hypercitrullation. If we can get to the root cause regarding the evolution of both combined, perhaps we could prevent rather than intervene.
If you are presently suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, a trip to the dentist may well be worth tour while.
If you want to prevent rheumatoid arthritis, and many of the other internal ailments associated with poor oral hygiene then the best way is to do what you dentist says, Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss or use an oral irrigator and rinse with a fluoride mouthwash. For extra protection, it is recommended that you use an oral irrigator like the Oral Breeze. This inexpensive and easy to use device uses a powerful stream of water to blast trapped food particles from your mouth to eliminate bacterial breeding ground and stop gum disease before it can start.