Gum disease (periodontitis) is an inflammatory condition that not only threatens the health of gums and teeth, but it may also give rise to rheumatoid arthritis. More specifically, researchers uncovered a link between a bacterial strain of gum disease (Porphyromonas gingivalis) that is suspected of speeding up the onset, progression, and severity of rheumatoid arthritis, including the breakdown of bone and cartilage. Equally as important, other inflammtory conditions linked with periodontal disease include cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's disease. This new research provides even more reason to floss and brush twice daily, at least. Proper dental care could hold the key to improved bone and joint health.
P.S. Brushing and flossing keeps gingivitis (gum inflammation) in check before it progresses to periodontitis (gum disease).