Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gum Disease

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This all flared up for me in September last year and it took a long time before I was diagnosed with RA and Systemic Lupus in February this year and prescribed methotrexate tablets and folic acid once a week and Adcal and Hydroxychloroquine twice a day. Just prior to the flare up last year I suffered a severe flare up of my gum disease which required antibiotics. I have a problem tooth which has a large filling which has flared up before. I've read that gum disease increases your risk of developing autoimmune conditions including RA. I'm planning to have the problem tooth extracted as I think it's the cause of the RA. Has anyone found their RA symptoms have improved after a tooth extraction?

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Nadine

    There are loads of medical studies that describe the role of gingivitis gum bacteria in the build up of citrullinated proteins leading to and then exacerbating the severity if RA.

    There are even studies from nearly 100 years ago of dentists undertaking the removal of all signs of plaque - leading to reduction in RA symptoms.

    I read a study the other day about prostatitis being hugely improved following the same treatment - so 100 years is a long time except when it come to joining up the dots in AI disease.

    Best of luck!

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  • Posted

    Cannot comment but strangely enough half a tooth fell out 2weeks ago, just before my breathlessness started??????? Wonder if there is a connection. Have dental appt next week, will let you know. Had gum bleed, sores and blisters also. 
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    • Posted

      Yes, dental infection causes systemic RA symptoms to appear, and causes RA medications to be non affective based on my personal exoerience. There is a huge correlation between dental infection bacteria and system RA conditions.
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  • Posted

    Hi Nadine, i have definitely found that my RA was improved by prob 90%.. witin one day my pain had decreased by this much...dental infections and dental bacteria caused systemic pain for so long and i had no idea this was the cause of so much systemic pain and infection. The methotrexate and prednisone lower our immune systems and actually cause dental issues..which then trigger incredible RA pain and fibromyalga symptoms.. It improved my condition so mucg that i was able to stay off from methotrexate and biologics (with dental infection, we must go off temporarily off prednisone and methotrexate as they lower our immune system and ability to fight infection). Please keep us updated as to how much your condition has improved once your dental infection and extraction is complete! You will probably receive the antibiotic augmentin from yiur dentist which was the stronger antibiotic needed for dental due to my RA condition. Amoxicillon did not knock out the infection due to my lowered immune system. Again, please keep us updated!!
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  • Posted

    I forgot to mention that after the tooth extraction and previous root area from a toith extraction over 1 year prior, i stayed off the methotrexate and prednisone, whivh had compromised my immune system triggering the dental infections, and were not effective enough to keep taking them, and replaced them with plaquinil. I do take tramadol for previous joint damage caused by unmanaged RA for so long, and definitely take a prescribed anti inflammatory along with quite a few vitamins and minerals, fish oil and a nutrient dense diet, watching dairy, gluten, soy, sugar, and other high inflammatory foods. Good sleep and stress management is also critical for RA management.
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  • Posted

    Thanks so much everyone, for posting this about your experience.  Ive been putting off dental treatment for months, but will make an appointment right now !
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  • Posted

    Thanks for your suggestions and comments. I had my first appointment with the lupus specialist today and it was a great consultation. He's a lovely man. He took time, examined me and asked lots of questions to try to get a complete picture of my symptoms and development of the condition. He explained things really well. I asked about the gum disease link with autoimmune conditions and he mentioned that it's very likely my RA and lupus were triggered by my ongoing dental problem. He agrees that I should get the tooth extracted as it will reduce inflammation in my body. My medication will stay the same and I'll see him again in 3 months so by then I'l know if its had any impact. To be honest I'm glad the dosage of my medication won't be increased as I want to get off the medication as soon as I can. He also said the prognosis for a 50% improvement in a year's time is good. Apparently the later the disease starts, the better the prognosis. I'm clinging to that. I feel really positive and looking forward to the extraction next week. I'll let you know if there is any change in my pain levels. If the pain is reduced I can mention this at my next RA appointment in June.
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  • Posted

    My teeth have been slowly cracking, crumbling and decaying for a few years now this last year has been real bad. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia a year ago and RA a few months ago. I can't help but wonder if it is all connected as I take good care of my teeth. I have periodontal disease so I have to get my bones built up in order to get implants or dentures.

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