German researchers have discovered that people with
rheumatoid arthritis have a higher incidence of gum disease.
The study found that patients with RA were eight times
more likely to be suffering from gum disease as compared to their healthy
counterparts. In most cases it was found that poor oral hygiene was not a
factor meaning some other considerations were also involved.
"With results suggesting that rheumatoid arthritis
is associated with periodontal disease, it is easy to assume that an RA
sufferer is perhaps unable to properly care for his or her teeth and gums due
to the debilitating nature of the disease," said Dr Kenneth Kornman,
editor of the Journal of the Periodontology. "We look forward to future
research that may reveal the biological mechanisms that link these two
The details of the
study are published in the June issue of the Journal of Periodontology.