The Link Between Gum Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis | Dentist in Columbia, SC

Recent studies have linked periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, and rheumatoid  arthritis (RA). Both are inflammatory conditions that prompt the immune system to attack the body. Our  team can teach you more about this connection and how you can protect your oral health if you have  been diagnosed with RA.  

Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful swelling of joints. Periodontal disease can cause swollen gums, infection  and tooth loss. Both are the result of inflammation, which is the body’s natural means of destroying  harmful bacteria and viruses.  

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue that holds your teeth in their place. It is typically caused  by poor oral health habits that permit a sticky film called plaque to build up and harden on teeth (known  as calculus, or tartar). If this is not removed, infection sets in, ultimately resulting in loose and missing  teeth. In this case, the body’s inflammatory response is warranted. 

In RA, the body mistakenly activates the immune system against the body’s own joints. This is known as  an autoimmune response. The link between arthritis and gum disease suggests that poor oral health may  actually prompt the immune system to attack the joints. The scientific journal PLoS Pathogens reports  that porphyromonas gingivalis, a bacterium that causes periodontal disease, can cause RA and make it  more severe.  

While scientists continue to study the links between autoimmune conditions and periodontal disease, they  also report positive findings: When RA patients successfully treat gum disease, joint swelling and pain  diminish.  

If you are among the 1.3 million Americans diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to keep up  with your at-home oral care. This includes twice-daily brushing and daily flossing. The conundrum you  may face is that arthritis can make accurate brushing and flossing difficult, and this compounds the  problem.  

● Talk to our dentist or an occupational therapist about using a toothbrush with a special handle  ● Experiment with different kinds of floss until you find one that is easy to use  ● Toothpaste that comes in a pump instead of a tube can be easier for arthritic hands to manage 

If you have concerns about your gums and rheumatoid arthritis, our team is happy to help you better  manage your oral health. Schedule your next appointment today

Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia
Phone: (803) 738-1114
3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

We Are Here For You

Dr. Julia K. Mikell
Solo Practitioner

3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

(We are easy to find in Forest Acres at the corner of Harrison Rd. and Budon Ct., near the Zesto’s on Forest Drive.)

(803) 738-1114

Providing Dental Care
For Many Communities Including:

Forest Acres, Fort Jackson, Arcadia Lakes, Lake Katherine, Heathwood, Shandon, Rosewood, Downtown Columbia, Earlewood, Cottontown and the University of South Carolina

Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8:30 AM - 5 PM
Friday: Closed


  • South Carolina State Dental
  • America Dental Association
  • America Dental Association

Dentist in Columbia, SC

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Dentist in Columbia, SC

“My husband and I had our 1st appointment with Dr. Mikell today and we left there feeling like we absolutely made the right choice! She and her staff were professional, kind, competent, and very respectful to us. We feel like this was a fabulous start to a long and happy relationship!”

Erica R. Columbia, SC Dental Patient

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“Diamond Dental is a good place for your dental care . The staff there is great and friendly. I have recommended my friends there because I trust them with my dental care.”

Caesar A.

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“I really appreciate the staff at Diamond Dental, they're awesome! Dr. Mikell, DDS and Ms. Deborah know me and my kids by name and I feel like where going to visit family and not a dental appointment. We talk and catch up like ole buddies!”

Tabitha M.

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“Dr. Mikell and her staff are the best! I moved ten years ago, but still drive in to town to have her team take care of my smile. They are the nicest people you will ever find!”

Kurt S.

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“Julia and her entire amazing staff are top notch. From routine cleanings to more specific emergency situations, I truly trust this team to take care of me. I am so thankful specifically for their help with a fitted night guard. I sleep better and my teeth are protected! Highly recommend Diamond Dental Studios!”

Sarah S.

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