Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gum Disease


Chris Iliades, MD

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Researchers continue to find strong links between periodontitis (gum disease) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In one study, people with RA were eight times more likely to get periodontitis than people without RA. Another study found that people who had gum disease were more than twice as likely to develop RA than people without gum disease. What these and other studies suggest is a complicated, two-way relationship: RA may lead to gum disease, and gum disease may trigger RA in some people.

How Might RA Cause Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is a type of infection and inflammation that destroys the structures supporting your teeth. Symptoms of periodontitis include loose teeth and gums that are red, swollen, and bleed easily.

W. Hayes Wilson, MD, discusses the basics of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and treatment.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Feb 16, 2015

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