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Preventing Gum Disease When You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, then you should know that studies show that there is a link between this chronic disease and periodontal disease. Studies also indicate that rheumatoid arthritis symptoms sometimes reduce if gingivitis is treated properly. This occurs when the body does not have as much inflammation to deal with. Also, treating gum disease will help to reduce tooth loss issues. After you have your gums treated successfully by your dentist, follow the tips in this piece to keep it from returning.

Clean With The Right Tools

Cleaning your mouth thoroughly two times a day is best to help reduce gingivitis concerns. However, toothbrushes and dental floss may be hard for you to use due to stiff and painful hands. If this is the case, then invest in a toothbrush made specifically for people with arthritis. These products typically feature wide, thick, and cushioned handles that can be gripped easily. Some of these brushes also feature revolving heads and moving handles so your hands are not stressed when brushing. If shoulder and elbow pain prevent you from comfortably raising your arm so you can brush, then think about purchasing an angled toothbrush and attaching a wooden ruler or spoon to the handle to lengthen it. Use a rubber band or an elastic hair tie to do this. 

Since you may not be able to use as much pressure when you brush, make sure to buy a toothpaste with triclosan. This antibacterial agent will help to kill the bacteria in the mouth that causes inflammation to form around the gums. This will help to reduce gingivitis concerns if you are unable to remove all the plaque from your teeth. A mouthwash that is considered therapeutic and contains an antimicrobial agent is best. However, try to find a product that is alcohol-free. Alcohol can dry out the mouth.

Medications you take like methotrexate can also dry out the mouth and bodily inflammation can cause salivary duct issues as well. Dry mouth reduces the amount of saliva that washes away the bacteria in the mouth, so you do not want to dry out the mouth further with an alcohol-based product. You should also think about sipping on water throughout the day too to wash away bacteria, especially if your mouth feels dry.

Eat Tissue Building Foods

When the gum tissues in your mouth become swollen, this is a sign that they also have been damaged by the bacteria around the teeth. Damaged tissues need to be healed with the formation of new cells before infection is able to set in. Thankfully, gums heal extremely quickly. It usually only takes a day or two for the tissues to rebuild if they are injured. However, your body will not heal as quickly from scrapes and other injuries because it will be dealing with attempts to repair joints. This may mean that your body will use all available resources to heal other parts of the body before the gums are attended to. You can help to make sure that the gums do heal fairly quickly by supplying your body with the nutrition it needs to rebuild. 

Collagen is the protein that is produced by the body to rebuild connective tissues, so make sure that you consume more than enough amino acids so collagen can be formed. Foods high in amino acids include fish, eggs, tofu, quinoa, ham, and pork. Vitamin C is also an essential vitamin that helps the body with collagen production so make sure to eat citrus fruits daily as well as bell peppers, pineapple, kiwi, strawberries, and blueberries.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, then it is extremely important for you to combat gum disease. Cleaning the mouth properly and following the right diet can help. You also should speak to a dentist like Dr. Daniel Bade DDS about professional cleaning and other things you can do to retain your oral health.