Gums Provide Clues to Rheumatoid Arthritis Severity

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by Meredith on June 2, 2011

We found this interesting article regarding a study that links oral condition to the severity of RA.

LONDON — The condition of a patient’s mouth could be linked to the severity of rheumatoid arthritis, researchers from the Netherlands suggested here at the European League Against Rheumatism meeting.

In reviewing records of 95 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, Elisabeth Brouwer, MD, assistant professor of internal medicine at the University Medical Center in Groningen, reported that 18% of the patients had severe periodontal disease and 32% had moderate periodontal disease.

“In a normal adult population, about 10%-15% of people have moderate or severe periodontal disease,” Brouwer told MedPage Today at her poster presentation here. “We think that the increased inflammatory process that is occurring in the mouths of patients with rheumatoid arthritis may be playing a role in their disease.”

The researchers noted that co-existence of periodontitis and rheumatoid arthritis has been reported previously; both diseases have similarities in etiology and pathogenesis, and they share common risk factors.

Action Points
• Note that this study was published as an abstract and presented at a conference. These data and conclusions should be considered to be preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
• Explain that a Dutch study of periodontal disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis found an association between gum disease severity and activity of the arthritis.
• Note that the authors pointed to some similarities in the inflammatory pathogenesis of the two conditions.

To read the entire article:
View the original article here

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