Periodontitis May Trigger Rheumatoid Arthritis

Condition shares pathogenic mechanisms with rheumatoid arthritis.

Condition shares pathogenic mechanisms with rheumatoid arthritis.

Periodontitis may trigger the onset of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a recent study indicates.

The study, set to be presented by researcher Sheila Arvikar at the 93rd General Session and Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research, examined the shared pathogenic mechanisms between RA and periodontitis. The study included joint and dental examinations with Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) antibodies, in addition to inflammatory microenvironments examined in early and chronic RA patients.

The researchers compared 23 RA patients, 15 new-onset disease and 8 chronic RA patients, with 20 age and gender-matched healthy subjects without periodontitis or RA. There were 20 inflammatory mediators measured in serum, saliva, gingival crevicular fluid (GCF), and joint fluid by Luminex.

All but one of the 23 RA patients enrolled received routine dental care and none were current smokers. Of these 23 patients, 10 had gingivitis and 9 had periodontitis.

The RA patients showed increased pocket depth, clinical attachment loss, bleeding on probing and GCF volume compared with the healthy subjects. Meanwhile, 6 of the 23 RA patients had P. gingivalis antibodies, and also had periodontitis.

The RA patients exhibited a marked inflammatory profile in all microenvironments, which despite routine dental care included the oral environment.

The P. gingivalis antibodies were considered as biomarkers for rheumatologists to identify those who may benefit from periodontal treatment.