We are in the middle of National Bone and Joint Awareness Week. You may not realize the different ways that your bone and joint health relate to your oral health. Consider your jawbone, for starters. Without proper function, and regular mineralization, you could have TMD (tempormandibular joint disorder) or facial collapse from lack of bone density. Arthritis is a painful condition that affects your joints though inflammation of tissues. Your Kentucky dentist, Dr. Darlene Henry, explains the connection between healthy teeth and arthritis in the knees.

Research Study Links Gum Disease Bacteria to Arthritis

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, OH, analyzed DNA information to determine that the bacteria that cause gum disease can travel all the way from the mouth to the knees. Synovial fluid surrounds the knee caps. This protective liquid is sterile in people with good health. However, when someone already has arthritis, the bacteria are able to take advantage of an already unhealthy situation, and settle in the knee joints. These findings are certainly compelling in terms of oral-systemic health (a connection between your mouth and body).

Can Bacteria from Gum Disease Infiltrate Other Parts of the Body?

While the Case Western Reserve research didn’t examine patients with advanced periodontal disease (gum disease) some of the patients examined presented with identical bacteria in their mouths and knee joints. The body offers a lot of potential channels for various strains of bacteria to travel through. This new evidence of the connection between gum disease and knee joint health warrants further research to uncover which other parts of the body could be affected by gum disease.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Kentucky Dentist

Taking care of your joints, and your teeth, are great ways to continue a wonderful quality of life as the years march on. If you are due for a dental checkup, or have any dental concerns, Dr. Henry would love to see you. To schedule your appointment contact our Erlanger, KY dentist office at 859-344-8500. We are happy to serve families from Cincinnati, Crestview Hills, Ft. Mitchell, Florence, Union, Independence, Taylor Mill, and other Kentucky communities around the 41018 zip code.