How Arthritis Can Affect Oral Health

Arthritis is commonly considered as disease of the joints. However, there are more than hundred types of the disease, two of which include Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis relates to the decay of synovial cartilage and bony overgrowth towards the joints; whereas Rheumatoid arthritis leads to inflammation of the joints through production of anti-bodies, which reach blood circulation and attack joints.

Symptoms include constant pain, swelling, stiffness and even disfiguration of the affected joints.
Now that we understand the disease and its symptoms, let’s take a look at how it can affect your oral health:

Temporomandibular Joint or TMJ

The joint in the jaw called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can be affected by arthritis leading to difficulties in opening and closing of mouth. Several x-rays by a dental expert can reveal true damage and if there are any signs of inflammation. A bite guard can help reduce symptoms of TMJ.  

Sjogren’s Syndrome

It is a condition that leads to inflammation. This inflammation may cause damage to the salivary gland. From dryness of mouth and tooth loss to difficulty in swallowing, Sjogren’s syndrome can bring about a lot of malfunctions in the mouth. To help relieve symptoms, drinking a lot of fluids and fluoride rinse may help.

Gum Disease

The link between gum disease and Rheumatoid arthritis has not been clearly discovered yet, but experts believe that inflammation may be the answer.
A protective response garnered by human body’s immune system, inflammation may get triggered mistakenly with an autoimmune disease, such as Rheumatoid arthritis. This triggering may cause gum diseases.

Compromised Oral Hygiene

Since arthritis affects joints, manual dexterity becomes limited for a suffering patient. This leads to compromise in oral hygiene activities, such as tooth brushing and flossing.
Unhealthy oral care can lead to problems like dental cavities, and other gum diseases. However, effective measures such as electronic toothbrushes and floss holders, may be taken to ease the condition.

Other Infections

People taking immunosuppressive drugs can be exposed to certain bacterial infections. Swelling around the jaws, pain and fever are some signs of this. Oral ulcers and fungal infections are also common side-effects of these medications.

Dental Treatment with Arthritis

From medications to recent surgeries, make sure you give a detailed description of your condition to your dentist before any treatment begins. To prevent lying down in the same position for a long period of time, it is recommended that you take 2 or 3 smaller appointments.
We understand that when suffering from such a serious disease like arthritis, you need a dentist that you can trust.

We at Advanced Dental Center are highly professional and reliable dentists in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  Our emergency dentists will quickly address your issue and will make sure that you get the treatment you deserve. Visit our website for a detailed look at our services.