Research is increasingly pointing towards a link between the two conditions. We’ve blogged about gum disease and its link to stroke, breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and even pre-term births, let’s look at rheumatoid arthritis. More than 1.3 million Americans suffer from this condition, and it’s been discovered by German researchers in Berlin, that patients with this condition can have a higher prevalence of periodontal disease. In fact a study of 57 rheumatoid arthritis patients and 52 healthy controls discovered that people with this condition are nearly eight times as likely to have periodontal disease1.
The study determined the oral health of rheumatoid arthritis patients and the healthy controls, and took into account demographic and lifestyle characteristics such as gender, age and tobacco use. It’s been found that treating periodontal disease can lessen the degree of arthritic pain and stiffness in sufferers.
This is the case of a 52-year-old East Indian female who was on regular four-month maintenance following previous periodontal therapy. The patient had been treated three years prior for generalized severe periodontitis. The treatment at that time consisted of scaling and root planing, home care instructions, occlusal equilibration, and osseous surgery. The patient was in generally good health apart from high blood pressure, which was stable on lisinopril (Prinivil®) once a day. The dental examination showed a 6 mm inflamed bleeding pocket that was evident between 43 and 42 the rest of the mouth was healthy.
Periowave™ Treatment and Results
Scaling and root planing with local anesthesia was used to treat 43 and 42, with adjunctive treatment with Periowave following the scaling. The patient was out of the country after treatment for several months, but did return for a 12-week follow-up visit, at which time the pocket probing depth was reduced to 3 mm with no signs of inflammation
Left: Pre-treatment gingival inflammation near the pocket, Right: Post-treatment resolution of gingival inflammation