If you are an arthritis sufferer, you are twice as likely to develop periodontal (gum) disease. Findings published by the Journal of Periodontology found patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) had an average tooth loss of 11.6 teeth compared to 6.7 of others. Because RA causes physical limitations, the following tips can make oral hygiene at home easier to maintain.
• Use water irrigators to remove food particles and plaque between teeth.
• Electric toothbrushes and floss holders can reduce the effort required by hands.
• Wrap toothbrush handles with a sponge hair roller for a more comfortable, thicker grip.
• Replace knob-type faucets with levers, which are easier to turn on and off.
• Insufficient saliva increases the risk of bacterial growth. Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist. If you take medications that are drying, oral rinses can help maintain oral moisture. Minimize caffeine, alcohol and smoking, all which are drying to oral tissues.
With a good oral care commitment, RA sufferers should be able to keep their smile healthy and prevent tooth loss.