Teeth and Rheumatoid Arthritis: What You Need To Know


Teeth and Rheumatoid Arthritis: What You Need To Know

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by joint pain, inflammation, and edema. RA can also cause less obvious complic

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by joint pain, inflammation, and edema. RA can also cause less obvious complications, such as dental and oral health issues.

Teeth and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Your mandible, teeth, and other oral structures require strong support, but RA can make it more difficult to brush and floss regularly.

Certain medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, as well as other health conditions, can cause parched mouths and other oral and dental complications. Despite the fact that this may not occur frequently as a result of the use of RA medications, consulting a healthcare team is an important method to determine potential side effects for any prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

This article will discuss some of the most common oral and dental problems that can develop in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, as well as what you can do about them.

Can rheumatoid arthritis cause teeth problems?

Oral health can suffer from bone loss due to rheumatoid arthritis. RA is an autoimmune condition that affects the entire body.

Bone degeneration and deterioration can occur in many other areas of the body, although they may be most evident in the joints, where pain and inflammation are most severe.

Below are some of the most common oral health issues caused by RA.

Periodontal disease

Periodontal Disease - Umgeeks

Periodontal disease may induce RA in some individuals.

A bacterial film that develops on the gums and molars is what causes this chronic inflammatory disease. This bacterial growth eventually causes inflammation and tissue injury. Your collagen-rich tissues are most susceptible to damage from both rheumatoid arthritis and gum disease.

This decline can occur in:

  • bone
  • cartilage
  • tissues around your joints (periarticular tissues)

Periodontal disease can cause harm to:

  • The bone ridge that supports your teeth (alveolar bone)
  • The ligaments that hold your teeth (periodontal ligaments) in position
  • your gingiva (gums)

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain - Umgeeks

The dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a prevalent complaint among RA patients.

More than 2,000 times per day, the TMJ is utilized for chewing and communicating. It is believed that between 5% and 86% of RA patients experience irritation in this joint.

One inquiry revealed that:

  • About of RA patients with TMJ symptoms had difficulty chewing.
  • About of these individuals had to alter their diet due to chewing difficulties.
  • About 30% of the respondents had discomfort when consuming.
  • About 36% of reliable sources took pain medication for TMJ-related problems.

Dry mouth

Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome are also common causes of problems with the salivary ducts.

Approximately 30% to 50% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis suffer from salivary gland disorders that result in a parched mouth and eventually lead to complications such as cavities.

In addition to issues with your salivary glands that can cause dry mouth, certain medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and its associated conditions can cause dry mouth as a side effect.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including Celebrex, can cause the salivary glands in the pharynx to dry out.

Other medications that may cause a dehydrated mouth but are not RA-specific include the following:

  • antihistamines
  • antidepressants
  • antipsychotics
  • blood pressure pills
  • diuretics, pain relievers
  • sedatives

Are there effects on your jaw from RA?

RA is a chronic disease in which the body attacks its cells, resulting in injury and degeneration of the bones, joints, and other tissues over time.

RA can produce pain and inflammation in any joint of the body, typically affecting multiple joints. The TMJ is responsible for mandible movement during speech and chewing. Since there is no true way to avoid using this area, problems with this joint can be particularly painful and difficult to endure.

Although TMJ bone deconstruction can be a problem, it is uncommon in adults with well-controlled inflammatory symptoms.

In addition to the disease process and medications used to treat RA, jawbone degeneration is also a possibility.

In 2014, the term medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw was first used to characterize jawbone damage caused by specific medications. It describes in detail the damage to your mandible that certain medications can cause.

Can rheumatoid arthritis patients obtain dental implants?

In order for teeth that have been extracted and replaced with dental implants to be effective, new bone growth must occur. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or those taking certain medications to treat RA, bone growth is sluggish or nonexistent.

Several investigations According to reliable sources, people with RA or those receiving treatment for RA have a higher rate of dental implant failure compared to those without the disease. However, having RA or Sjogren’s condition does not prevent you from receiving dental implants. A specialist in dentistry or rheumatology can advise you on the potential risks and benefits.

Can a tooth extraction be performed on someone with RA?

Occasionally, dental extractions are required to treat oral health issues.

If you have RA and require a tooth extraction, you may encounter additional complications.

But depending on the reason for your tooth extraction, those concerns may not apply. It is possible that a trusted source is not a justification to avoid the extraction. Delaying a tooth extraction that is required to treat conditions such as an infection could result in a host of other complications.

Discuss your reasons for and risks associated with tooth extraction with a dentist or other healthcare professional. Rarely are rheumatoid arthritis and the medications used to treat it a reason to postpone or terminate a tooth extraction.

Is it possible to get RA in the teeth?

RA doesn’t have a direct effect on your teeth.

This disease damages the cells that make up your bones, joints, and connective tissues. This means that RA can hurt your gums and tooth health in general, but not your teeth.

Will RA medications cause toothache?

Certain medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can induce dental issues.

Disease-modifying antirheumatic medications (DMARDs) that suppress the immune system are the primary treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

While these medications are effective at reducing RA-related pain and inflammation, they may also increase your risk of infection and cause bone density loss.

All of these factors may contribute to tooth pain, particularly if they result in oral infections or loose teeth.

RA tooth pain: how do you treat it?

Pain is a major component of rheumatoid arthritis. Although some anti-inflammatory medications used to treat RA may reduce pain, you may also be prescribed NSAIDs or other pain relievers. These medications can treat a variety of pains, including dental pain and rheumatoid arthritis pain.

If tooth pain is your only symptom, it may not be due to rheumatoid arthritis.

However, if you have been diagnosed with RA and are experiencing tooth discomfort, consult your healthcare team or dentist. They may be able to rule out more complex causes of pain or infection, particularly if you have rheumatoid arthritis and are taking immunosuppressant medications.


RA is a chronic condition in which the body attacks its own joints and bones. The condition can affect any joint or bone, including those in the mandible and mouth.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to practice excellent oral hygiene to prevent infections and other forms of inflammation in your mouth. There is a possibility that RA and the associated slow bone growth could make tooth extractions or implants more difficult, but a dentist or healthcare team can help you reduce your risk of complications.