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Dental health problem linked to rheumatoid arthritis
Updated: 10/31/2008 6:00:22 PM
 

Dental health problem linked to rheumatoid arthritis People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are also likely to have gum disease, according to new research.

The findings, presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, confirm previous studies which linked the joint condition with the dental health problem.

In this new study, scientists analyzed the dental health of 153 patients with RA and found that more than eight out of ten had symptoms of periodontal disease. Additionally, those with more active RA were found to be more likely to suffer from gum disease.

RA is an autoimmune disease that affects around 20 million people across the world. Symptoms include stiffness, pain and swelling in the joints.

"The relationship between RA disease activity with periodontal disease suggests that periodontal disease may serve as a disease-modifying factor for RA," commented lead researcher Dr Clifton O. Bingham III, according to Reuters Health.

He added that more attention should be given to the dental health of RA patients.

In June, research published in the Journal of Periodontology suggested that RA and gum disease could be connected because they are both inflammatory disorders.

Bingham and colleagues said that further studies will be conducted to explore the relationship in more detail.
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