Rheumatoid Arthritis and Oral Health
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that afflicts over 1.3 million Americans. Many people don’t realize that there are serious oral health risks that have been associated with arthritis. Current research suggests that patients with rheumatoid arthritis are at a greater risk for gum disease and other oral health issues.
If you’re a patient who suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis, do not fear! Below are three steps you can take to keep your teeth and gums happy and healthy.
One of the most common forms of bacteria buildup in the mouth, gingivitis, causes an inflammation of the gums and tissues and because rheumatoid arthritis patients are more susceptible to chronic inflammatory diseases it puts them at a higher risk of developing the disease. Also, because of the stiffness created from rheumatoid arthritis, the process of brushing and flossing could also be affected, again potentially leading to more bacteria forming in the oral cavities.
Patients cannot rid themselves of this arthritis, so what can they do specifically to help them from preventing this bacteria buildup?
First things first! It is important to schedule regular checkups with your local dentist so they can help you monitor your dental health and overall oral hygiene. If problems arise, they should be the first to know and will help you back to a normal healthy smile!
If you find that it has been getting harder to hold a regular toothbrush during your daily routine, try making the switch to an electronic toothbrush! Electronic brushes are terrific at cleaning all the “nooks and crannies” of your teeth without the grinding, repetitive motion associated with using a regular toothbrush.
There are toothpastes and mouthwashes available that require a prescription (your dentist can write this for you). These aim to assist in bacteria prevention in the mouth with a greater intensity than your average off-the-shelf brands.
If you take the proper precaution and see your dentist regularly, having a healthy mouth while living with Rheumatoid Arthritis will be possible!