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If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may want to pay particular attention to your teeth

A new study confirms what researchers have long suspected:

There’s a link between rheumatoid arthritis and periodontitis. Scientists compared the periodontal condition of 65 rheumatology patients to an arthritis-free control group. While both groups had the same level of plaque and gum-bleeding, the rheumatoid arthritis group had a significantly higher percentage of tooth loss. In fact, other common rheumatoid symptoms (swollen joints, for example) turned out to be a good marker for periodontal disease as well. In the end, the researchers found “a significant association between periodontitis and rheumatoid arthritis.” While they haven’t yet determined why this is, they do have a few theories and research is continuing. We’ll let you know as soon as we learn more.