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Study suggests link between oral care and rheumatoid arthritis

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A recent study has reaffirmed the negative consequences poor oral health can have on other aspects of the body. Researchers from the University of Louisville have found that poor oral health can increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

This finding is based on the presence of an enzyme that is present when a person has gum disease. Just another reason why oral health should never be overlooked!

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a condition in which the joints become swollen and painful. It most commonly comes into affect in later years of life but certain elements can advance the condition.

New research finds that gum disease is suspected to advance RA. A particular enzyme transforms some proteins into another protein called citrulline. Our body thinks citrulline is a troublemaker to be rid of and attacks it, causing inflammation. When a patient has autoimmune disease such as RA or systemic lupus, the body’s autoantibodies will attack the citrulline proteins. This has led researchers to believe that citrullination stimulates the immune system into autoimmune disease, or RA.

Studies are still in their early stages, but nevertheless, this should be a cautionary warning to remind everyone to take care of their teeth!


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