Posted on 8/25/2016 by Richard Morales
|Arthritis is known for affecting the joints, internal organs, connective tissue and even cardiovascular health; but were you aware that arthritis can also affect your oral health?
It is true. Arthritis patients commonly complain of oral health issues such as dry mouth, temporomandibular disorders, mouth ulcers, infections of the mouth and gum disease.
To date, approximately 15 percent of rheumatoid arthritis patients suffer from Sjogren's Syndrome, which is caused by dry mouth stemming from inflammation. Chronic dry mouth is harmful because the saliva plays an intricate role in promoting positive oral health.
Saliva works to rid the mouth of harmful bacteria, it helps break down food and it keeps the balance of good bacteria to bad bacteria in check. When there is not enough saliva present in the mouth problems can arise.
Chronic dry mouth typically leads to an increased amount of dental decay, it promotes the growth of bacteria and yeast like thrush, and it also can lead to gum diseases like gingivitis.
All Hope Is Not Lost
Though the odds do not seem to be in your favor, when it comes to keeping your mouth clean with arthritis, do not fret. Between the inflammation induced dry mouth and negative side effects of arthritis medication, it will be difficult to manage to keep your oral health in check, but it can be done.
Talk with your dentist about the challenges you are facing with dry mouth and keeping your mouth clean. Be sure to drink more than the recommended servings of water every day. You can also rinse your mouth a couple of times a day with warm salt water to help cleanse the area. Salt water will help to remove harmful bacteria thus protecting your oral cavity from infection and/or decay.
Please contact us if you have any questions about arthritis's effect on your oral health.