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Brushing your teeth well could help prevent arthritis, scientists claim. Researchers found a link between the bacterium responsible for gum disease and earlier onset of rheumatoid arthritis, as well as faster progression and greater severity of the condition.


The bacterium produces an enzyme which reacts with the residue of certain proteins.
The body recognises these proteins as intruders, leading to an immune attack, the researchers from the University of Louisville’s School of Dentistry in Kentucky said.

Link between gum disease bacterium and onset of rheumatoid arthritis
Bacterium produces enzyme which reacts with residue of certain proteins
Body recognises these proteins as intruders, leading to an immune attack

In arthritis patients, the subsequent result is chronic inflammation responsible for bone and cartilage destruction within the joints.
Previous studies have indicated that gum disease is at least two times more prevalent in rheumatoid arthritis patients.
The bacterium, Porphyromonas gingivalis, produces a unique enzyme, peptidylarginine deiminanse (PAD).