Ocean, NJ Dentist | Periodontal Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dentist in Ocean

Periodontal disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) share a complex relationship with one another. Both of these chronic conditions cause increased inflammation in the body. Both can lead to serious damage, especially if a patient does not seek prompt, effective treatment. However, the connection between these potentially destructive illnesses does not end with similarity of symptoms. If you have either periodontal disease or RA, you may benefit from learning more about the links between the two.

Periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gum tissue in the mouth. Patients with periodontal disease most often experience swelling, redness, sensitivity, and/or painful, bleeding gums. They will develop pockets where the gums begin to pull away from the teeth. These pockets are more difficult to properly clean, so are more prone to infection and bacteria that cause tooth decay. If not treated regularly, periodontal disease will worsen over time and can lead to tooth and bone loss.

RA is a chronic autoimmune disease where the protective immune response is triggered when no harmful viruses or bacteria are present. With no pathogens to attack, the white blood cells instead attack the joints, leading to pain, swelling, stiffness, and eventually deterioration of the joints. Since RA often affects the small joints of the hands and wrists, many patients have difficulty maintaining proper brushing and flossing habits. With less effective dental hygiene, patients with RA are at increased risk of developing, or worsening, periodontal disease.

Moreover, in a recent study, scientists looked at the effects of the bacterium porphyromonas gingivalis, which causes periodontal disease. They found that this bacterium can lead to earlier onset, more rapid progression of symptoms, and increased severity of RA. Fortunately, it was also discovered that successful treatment for periodontal disease can reduce RA pain and other symptoms.

If you have RA and are having difficulty maintaining your oral hygiene due to stiff, painful joints, consider these simple ideas:

  • Add a tennis ball or bicycle handlebar grip to make your toothbrush easier to hold.
  • Try replacing ordinary string floss with a water flosser that may be easier to hold and manipulate.
  • Use a pump-style toothpaste dispenser to avoid the need to squeeze and roll a small tube.
  • Have professional cleanings at least 2-3 times each year.
  • Schedule a periodontal screening annually.
  • Ask your dental hygienist for more ideas on making your daily regimen work for you.

For more information regarding periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis, contact our office to schedule a consultation.

804 West Park Avenue, Ste 1L., in Ocean Township, N.J.

(732) 493.8030

Dentist in Ocean, NJ | Our Next Health and Wellness Event

Save the Date!

We’re delighted to invite you and your friends to our next Health and Wellness Event.

Date: October 24th
Time: 5:30 PM
Where: Soul Focus, 7 Meridian Rd, Eatontown
RSVP : Fran@alansterndds.com or 732-493-8030 before October 22

Nutritionist Debra Dayton and Dr Alan Stern will be discussing how to control the inflammation that is damaging our bodies every day. Our information will be practical, useful, and potentially life saving.

Light refreshments will be served and we will have a few surprises for some lucky people, too!

More information will follow. Please be sure to like our Facebook page for updates on everything that’s happening in our office community.

We are very excited about this event and hope to see you there!

Dr. Alan Stern, Fran, Jessica, and Ryan


Request an appointment, or call out office today to learn more at (732) 493-8030

Ocean Dentist | Bad Breath Busters

While dragons breathing fire is pretty cool, no one wants to be the human version of that, breathing such a potent smell that it acts like an inferno, keeping others at a distance. Halitosis is the fancy name for bad breath, but there’s nothing fancy about unpleasant odors emanating from your mouth — or the health problems that can be associated with them.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Food is one of the top culprits. When stuck between your teeth, food can lead to unpleasant odors (particularly if it’s strong-smelling to begin with, like onions or garlic). And it’s not until you’ve completely digested a particular food that it stops affecting your breath.

In addition to yellowing your teeth, tobacco doesn’t do any favors for your breath. Certain medications can also be to blame. Illnesses, too, can temporarily cause halitosis, particularly respiratory tract infections like bronchitis and pneumonia.

Everyone’s experienced morning breath. That’s because your mouth gets dry while you sleep, and saliva helps to clear away those particles that can cause bad smells. Some people experience dry mouth during the day as well. Drinking lots of water and breathing through your nose instead of your mouth can help with this.

So Fresh and So Clean

How can you keep your breath sweet-smelling all day? The best way is to brush and floss regularly. Keeping your teeth clean keeps gum disease at bay, clears out all those lingering food particles, and reduces odor-causing bacteria. Remember to brush your tongue as well, or use a tongue scraper. A note of caution: When brushing or scraping the tongue, be gentle. Excessive scraping can harm taste buds over a long time.

If you find particular foods always make your breath bad, avoid those when you’ll be in situations where you’re interacting with people.

In addition to drinking water to keep your mouth moist, chewing sugarless gum can promote the production of saliva.

Mouth rinses are another great choice, but use moderation with ones that contain alcohol. Alcohol in excess can be carcinogenic, especially when combined with cigarette smoke.

Be sure to come in for regular checkups. If you’re developing gum disease, we can treat it, which will improve your breath. Mouth odor can also indicate diabetes, gastric issues, or other medical problems. We can help you figure out the cause of your halitosis and guide you in the right direction toward a solution.