Dental health has been linked with a number of diseases, including arthritis. By taking care of your teeth and gums, you could potentially avoid exacerbating the symptoms of arthritis. If you have arthritis, here is what you need to know about the disease and its connection to your dental health.
How Is Your Dental Health Linked to Arthritis?
Arthritis impacts the joints and causes inflammation and mobility issues. When you have arthritis that is impacting joints, such as your temporomandibular joint, you could experience difficulty with opening and closing your mouth. As a result, simple tasks, such as talking and eating, can be complicated.
Arthritis can also impact your ability to care for your teeth. When joints in your hands become stiff and are unable to easily move, you could have trouble with properly brushing and flossing your teeth. Without proper daily care of your teeth and gums, you are more likely to experience dental problems, such as gum disease and tooth loss.
If you have been treated for arthritis, the treatment you received could even have a bearing on your dental health. For instance, if you have joints that have been replaced with prosthetics, you could be more vulnerable to developing an infection if you require an invasive dental procedure.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Dental Health?
One of the most important steps you can take to protect your dental health while managing your arthritis symptoms is to talk to your dentist. He or she needs to be aware of any medications that you are taking and any procedures you have had. If your dentist is aware that you have had a treatment that could compromise your dental health, he or she can take the necessary precautions to protect you.
If you are having trouble with brushing and flossing due to arthritis-related mobility issues, the dentist also needs to know. There are changes to your dental care equipment you can make to help with your hygiene regimen. For instance, the use of a floss holder can make it easier to floss your teeth.
In addition to these measures, you need to keep up with your arthritis treatments. The better your condition is managed, the more likely it is that you will not have problems with your dental health. Your rheumatologist can work with your dentist to protect your joints and dental health.
Protecting your dental health is a task that should not be ignored. Work with medical professionals, such as your dentist, to learn what other steps you can take to keep your teeth and gums healthy.