Can your dentist help your arthritis?


If you are one of the half a million people in the UK who have rheumatoid arthritis, and I include myself among them, then going to the Dentist doesn’t usually suggest itself as a cure. However, some new studies published in the Journal of Periodontology show that there is definitely a link between a healthy mouth and a healthy body.

Research by the Case Western Reserve University School in Cleveland USA supports existing reports linking gum disease with arthritic pain and inflammation. Arthritis is definitely inflamed by toxins in the body and tooth decay and gum disease are both natural homes for toxins. They monitored 40 people with moderate or severe periodontitis and severe rheumatoid arthritis to see if dental treatment made any difference to their arthritis. If the subjects had toothache or painful teeth then extracting them seemed to have a positive impact on arthritic pain. It was made even better if the dental treatment was combined with taking anti-inflammatory drugs.

Gum disease no joke
A huge number of us will suffer gum disease at some point in our lives, with some estimates putting it as high as 19 in 20 people. There are significant potential risks as gum disease has been linked to not only arthritis, but heart disease, strokes, diabetes and premature births.

Beat gum disease with a cuppa


Now you know how fond I am of green tea, and actually I have found a new one in my supermarket made by Dr Stuart which combines green tea and rice. Sounds disgusting but actually it sweetens the green tea, and makes it more palatable and as I have just found another good reason for drinking it, I encourage you to try it. A cup of green tea per day may help keep gum disease at bay, a new study suggests.

A report in the Journal of Periodontology says that researchers at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan found that among middle-aged Japanese men, the odds of having gum disease declined as their intake of green tea went up. For each daily cup they drank, the risk of having signs of gum disease – including receding, easily bleeding gums – went down and this may be because green tea has a high concentration of antioxidant compounds called polyphenols. Much gum disease arises from bacterial infection, and lab research suggests that green tea polyphenols can inhibit those germs and the damage they cause. It is of course no substitute for good oral hygiene and the dentist, but prevention is always better than cure – particularly when green tea has so many other health benefits as well.