GUM LINK TO ARTHRITIS
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects a person’s joints, causing pain and disability. It is more common in older people, but there is also a high prevalence in young people, and it affects women more than men. The results of a study by Leeds Biomedical Research Centre demonstrates increased levels of gum disease, and disease-causing bacteria, in individuals at risk of RA. “Our results support the hypothesis that local inflammation at mucosal surfaces, such as the gums in this case, may provide the primary trigger for the systemic autoimmunity seen in RA,” said study author Dr Kulveer Manki. The prevalence of gum disease is increased in patients with RA and could be a key initiator of RA-related autoimmunity.