Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Treating Gum Disease Helps Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers

Date:
May 29, 2009
Source:
Case Western Reserve University
Summary:
Not yet convinced about keeping your teeth healthy, here's another reason. People who suffer from gum disease and also have a severe form of rheumatoid arthritis, reduced their arthritic pain, number of swollen joints and the degree of morning stiffness when they cured their dental problems.

Here's one more reason to keep your teeth healthy. People, who suffer from gum disease and also have a severe form of rheumatoid arthritis, reduced their arthritic pain, number of swollen joints and the degree of morning stiffness when they cured their dental problems.

Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland reported on this new intervention for arthritis in the Journal of Periodontology.

"It was exciting to find that if we eliminated the infection and inflammation in the gums, then patients with a severe kind of active rheumatoid arthritis reported improvement on the signs and symptoms of that disease," said Nabil Bissada, D.D.S., chair of the department of periodontics at the dental school. "It gives us a new intervention," adds Bissada.

This is not the first time that gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis have been linked. According to another researcher in the study, Ali Askari, M.D., chair of the department of rheumatology at University Hospitals, "From way back, rheumatologists and other clinicians have been perplexed by the myth that gum disease may have a big role in causing systematic disease."

He added that historically teeth were pulled or antibiotics given for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, which actually treated the periodontitis. The patients got better.

Askari and Bissada are part of a team of researchers that studied 40 patients with moderate to severe periodontal disease and a severe form of rheumatoid arthritis.

The study results should prompt rheumatologists to encourage their patients to be aware of the link between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis, says Askari.

Bissada notes that gum disease tends to be prevalent in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Both inflammatory diseases share similarities in the progression of the disease over time. In both diseases, the soft and hard tissues are destroyed from inflammation caused by toxins from bacterial infection.

One toxin from the inflamed areas called tumor neurosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is a marker present in the blood when inflammation is present in the body. TNF-α can initiate new infections or aggravate sites where inflammation already exists.

The study's participants were divided into four groups. Two groups of patients were receiving a new group of anti-TNF-α drugs that block the production of TNF-α at inflamed rheumatoid arthritis sites. Two groups were not on this new medication. Half of group of the participant on the medication and half not receiving the new drug received a standard nonsurgical form of periodontal treatment to clean and remove the infection from the bones and tissues in the gum areas. The other half of those studied did not receive the treatment until after completion of the study.

After receiving treatment for the gum disease, improvement in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms was seen in patients who did and did not receive the anti-TNF-α medications, which block the production of TNF-α that aggravate or can cause inflammation. Patients on the TNF- α inhibitors showed even greater improvements over those not receiving the drugs.

"I'm optimistic that someday the biologic agents that we use successfully in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis will lead to improvement of periodontitis and would be available for use and treatment of this perplexing problem," says Askari.

"Again we are seeing another link where good oral health improves the overall health of an individual," says Bissada, who adds that studies have linked gum disease to premature births, heart disease and diabetes.

Other researchers contributing to findings in the article were P. Ortiz, Yiping Han, Leena Palomo, and Ashok Panneerselvam from Case Western Reserve University; and M.S. Al-Zahrani from King Abdulaziz University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Case Western Reserve University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ortiz et al. Periodontal Therapy Reduces the Severity of Active Rheumatoid Arthritis in Patients Treated With or Without Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors. Journal of Periodontology, 2009; 80 (4): 535 DOI: 10.1902/jop.2009.080447

Cite This Page:

Case Western Reserve University. "Treating Gum Disease Helps Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090528135252.htm>.
Case Western Reserve University. (2009, May 29). Treating Gum Disease Helps Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090528135252.htm
Case Western Reserve University. "Treating Gum Disease Helps Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090528135252.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins