A beautiful smile is more than just nice to look at, it’s also a clue to one’s health. From your lips (pale color could indicate anemia) to the healthy gums that hold your sparkling white teeth, these are all good indicators of how strong a person’s immune system may be.

Care for teeth and gums is about more than having healthy teeth for life. All aspects of one’s health can be compromised by gum disease. Studies have shown that people who lose their teeth early in life have a shortened life expectancy.

Any infection in the body stresses the immune system, however, all infections are not created equal. An infection affecting the gums or the under lying bones in the jaw put excessive stress on the immune system.

A gum infection contains very toxic bacteria (plaque). These organisms have constant and direct access to the blood stream and indirectly to the lungs as long as this infection is left untreated, stressing the immune system.

Periodontal Disease

The word periodontal means "around the tooth." Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth.

Periodontal disease includes gingivitis (the mildest form of periodontal disease) and periodonitis (It begins when the bacteria in plaque causes the gums to become inflamed). Periodontal disease can affect one or more teeth and lead to the loss of one’s teeth.

Aggressive periodontitis Common features include rapid attachment loss and bone destruction and familial aggregation, occurring in people who are generally healthy.

Chronic periodontitis causes inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth, progressive attachment and bone loss. This is the most frequently occurring form of periodontitis and is characterized by pocket formation and/or recession of the gums. Most often occurring in adults, but can occur at any age.

Periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic diseases often begins at a young age. Systemic conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes are associated with this form of periodontitis.

Necrotizing periodontal diseaseis an infection characterized by necrosis of gum tissues, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. Most commonly observed in individuals with systemic conditions such as HIV infection, malnutrition and immunosuppression.

Causes of Periodontal Disease

Many factors influence the health of our gums, beyond the obvious, brushing and flossing daily, other factors that may affect gum health could be.

Smoking , recent studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease.

Genetics, Up to 30% of the population may be genetically predisposed to Periodonal Disease, dispite excellent oral hygene habits. Knowing this is a problem in your family may help you choose to get oral assistance prior to the onset of any problems.

Hormonal Fluctuations During a woman’s life extra care may be required at times of change, like during puberty, pregnancy and menopause.

Stress All aspects of ones health can be challenged by stress and gum health is no exception. Stress can make it difficult for the body to fight off infection.

Poor nutrition is a recipe for disaster for your teeth and gums as well as your overall health.

Auto Immune Health Challenges The immune system, when challenged has a difficult time controlling all infections in the body and the teeth and gums are no exception. Inform your dentist of any auto Immune challenges as he may discuss with you preventative treatments that may prevent future problems.

Teeth Grinding Clenching or grinding your teeth can put excess force on the supporting tissues of the teeth and could speed up the rate at which these periodontal tissues are destroyed.

Summary, How all this pertains to healing the body of the pain and suffering of Rheumatoid Arthritis

If your immune system is being assaulted each day by an infection caused by Periodonal Disease this could be enough of a challenge to prevent you from full recovery of RA pains.

I have personally had this challenge, and, with the help of my dentist have been quite successful with treatments.

I have found that since being diagnosed with RA, diagnosed with RA, despite my trying to care for my teeth I was getting more cavities than I ever did before.

I am now visiting the dentist 4 times per year to have my teeth cleaned and this has helped, my gums are healthier looking and I hope not to see any more cavities.

The cost of getting teeth cleaned is low compared to my health, how about yours?

I encourage everyone to do all you can to care for your teeth and gums as this is definitely a key to a healthy immune system.

The good news, if you have chosen eat a diet that supports a healthy immune system you have chosen one of the natural steps in improving your oral health, I encourage you to learn more and do all you can it may be the key to balancing your immune system.

Always remember..

An infection, wherever it’s found in the body, stresses the immune system. The more serious the infection and the longer it persists, the more the immune system is affected.

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This information is not designed as or intended to be used as medical diagnosis or advice. Patients should consult their physicians about diagnosis and treatment.

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