Those that unfortunately suffer from rheumatoid arthritis could indeed be at risk for oral health problems as well. Current research has suggested that rheumatoid arthritis can put a patient at greater risk for gum disease among other oral health issues, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel: there are steps you can take to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
One of the most common forms of bacteria buildup in the mouth, gingivitis, causes an “inflammation of the gums and tissues” and because rheumatoid arthritis patients are more susceptible to “chronic inflammatory diseases” it puts them at a higher risk of developing the disease. Also, because of the stiffness created from rheumatoid arthritis, the process of brushing and flossing could also be affected, again potentially leading to more bacteria forming in the oral cavities.
Patients cannot rid themselves of this arthritis however, so what can they do specifically to help them from forming this bacteria buildup? First, schedule regular visits with your dentist to check in and help you monitor your dental health and hygiene. If there are indeed problems, they will be the first to know and the first to help you back to a normal healthy smile!
Next, if it is harder to hold the regular toothbrush, try switching to an electric one that will assist to getting in all the “nooks and crannies” of your teeth. Also, there are specific toothpastes and mouthwashes out there that require a prescription (your dentist can write this for you) that also aim to assist in bacteria prevention in the mouth. If you take the proper precaution and see your dentist regularly and also simply do not neglect your oral health, living with rheumatoid arthritis and a healthy mouth will be possible!