There is new evidence suggesting that the same microorganisms responsible for chronic inflammatory gingivitis may also trigger rheumatoid arthritis. The latest research from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore has implications for the prevention and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis may by closely associated, as research indicates common factors that may link these two conditions. The John Hopkins team discovered that a process found in the joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis called hypercitrullination, which regulates protein function, was also noted in the gingiva of patients with periodontitis. Although this is a natural process, it becomes overactive in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. This results in proteins that drive the production of inflammatory-inducing antibodies that attack tissues.
If you have a genetic susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis, then you may also be linked to an increased risk of gingivitis or periodontal disease.