It has become clear in the last few years that poor oral health doesn’t just affect your mouth; study after study points to a connection between chronic gum infections and other conditions of the body.
Gum Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
For instance, scientists have long suspected that there’s a connection between gum disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). But researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have now identified the bacterium Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (Aa) as the common denominator between the two conditions.
The results of the study, published in Science Translational Medicine, found that the Aa bacterium was present in about half of the 196 RA patients tested. The conclusion is that Aa plays a significant part in producing the antibodies present in patients who are susceptible to Rheumatoid Arthritis.
What These Results Mean for You
Your dentist in Fairfax recognizes the impact that inflammations associated with gum disease can have on your general health and is proactive in helping patients understand the connection. When you are aware of the repercussions, you can see that gum health is about a lot more than a healthy mouth.
With that in mind, there are some steps you can take to minimize the risk of gum disease and put you back in control of your oral health.
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times; preventive services like exams and dental cleanings are your best defense against gum disease. Stay current with your six-month exams and cleaning appointments so your dentist can detect problems like gum disease and decay in their earliest stages
Even more important than professional visits is what you do between exams. If you’re not confident about your oral hygiene skills, use your routine appointment ask your hygienist for brushing and flossing tips.
Call Your Fairfax Dentist
At Dr. Fairfax & Associates Family Dentistry, we are always more than happy to answer your questions. Please call us to arrange your next appointment so we can offer guidance and support to help you enjoy your healthiest smile.