Arthritis affects an estimated 50 million adults in the United States, an alarming rate that is increasing every year. In addition to the increase, research has shown that people with arthritis are at higher risk of developing other diseases.
Through this post, Sani Dental Group will focus on how arthritis can affect your dental health. We will also offer you some recommendations and the options that are available for you today to prevent gum disease.
Arthritis: The Facts
Arthritis is a condition in which joints are inflamed and cause pain. The term is used to describe around 200 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints, the tissue surrounding the joint, and other connective tissue.
When speaking about this subject, the most common forms of arthritis are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Basic of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects the cartilage in joints. When cartilage is healthy it is a firm, rubbery substance that serves as a shock-absorber. Healthy cartilage helps to reduce the friction between bones and joints.
When osteoarthritis develops, the disease begins to break down your cartilage. Keep in mind that this “shock absorber” is located throughout your body; when damaged, mobility becomes limited and very painful.
Osteoarthritis when severe, deforms the ligaments in your fingers, neck, hip, your spine, and knees; yes, as mentioned pretty much your entire body.
For more information, we invite you to read our post: Osteoarthritis Causes and Treatment
Basics of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (rheumatoid disease) is a chronic, progressive, and disabling autoimmune disease.
Like with many other arthritis diseases, rheumatoid arthritis affects your joints, the tissue surrounding the joints, and other organs causing swelling and much, much pain.
When RA is severe it forms lumps on your skin called rheumatoid nodules. These lumps often form over joint areas, such as knuckles, elbows, or heels. This will limit mobility and can lead to other diseases.
Some other Rheumatoid Arthritis facts include:
- Prevalence estimates 1%- 2% U.S. population/increasing each decade
- Disease onset between 35-50 years
- Females > males 3:1
- Incidence varies with age
- 20 in a 10,000 for men
- 40 in a 10,000 for women
Due to the mobility limitations arthritis causes, other areas of our health are also at risk, this includes our dental health.
Arthritis and Dental Health
The limitation in mobility caused by arthritis will complicate your ability to provide good daily oral care to your teeth. As we mentioned, arthritis affects your joints, and these are all over your body. In addition to the limited movement, arthritis can trigger temporomandibular joint disease (TMD) or cause it.
Poor oral hygiene will lead to dental caries and gingivitis developing. In the following information, we discuss the connection between poor oral hygiene and other degenerative diseases.
As we have talked about in other posts, gingivitis can cause plaque to build-up and lead to other diseases, for example, cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus. Fortunately, there are options, even if arthritis develops you can have a strong, healthy smile, patients have options.
Just like any other disease, the first step is to see a professional. Once your doctor determines what form of arthritis you have and where it affects, your doctor will offer you a few tips and treatment options. In the case of your oral health, Sani offers you the following tips:
- Floss holders – This device will allow a better grip for people with arthritis.
- Irrigation Devices – Wash away any food debris through the pulsed water-jet device.
- Mechanical Toothbrushes – This device will increase mobility, it is especially effective for people with severe rheumatoid arthritis.
- Modified Toothbrush – a modified toothbrush will increase mobility and help you have a better grip.
Sani Dental Group invites you to share this post with a loved one or friend. In 2015, the CDC reported that 1 out of every 5 US adults was diagnosed with arthritis by their doctor. This is an alarming rate because this disease can lead to many other health problems.
Arthritis can affect many, yet this shouldn’t be a reason to suffer from dental disease.
As we mentioned, today patients have options and a visit to your dentist can prevent further damage. Gum disease to heart failure or diabetes, but one, yes one visit to the dentist can prevent that.
If you would like more information or wish to schedule an appointment, contact our patient coordinators. They will gladly assist you will all your questions, dental needs, and much, much more.
Basics of Osteoarthritis