How Are They Related?
One particular study from Australia, published in the Journal of Periodontology, found that arthritis associated with dental abscess and other periodontal infections is real.
In the study, the participants who had rheumatoid arthritis were more than twice as likely to have periodontal disease compared to participants in the control group. The periodontal disease may involve moderate to severe jawbone loss. The researchers, however, did not generalize that the relationship between the two diseases is casual.
On the other hand, Dr. Gerald Smith presented a case revealing the connection between dental infections and rheumatoid infection. Smith pointed out that dental infections are one of the often ignored causes of rheumatoid arthritis.
Dental infections due to gum disease, an infected root canal tooth, or the site of a previously extracted tooth can be the source of problem. When protein structures start to degenerate, bacteria, viruses, and fungi can combine to produce thiol ethers, a form of toxin. These toxins can be circulated to the whole body and can be concentrated on the knee, hands, and other joints. This triggers the attack of the immune system causing inflammation and pain of the joints.
In the case study of Dr. Smith, the patient named MT had a root canal treatment that resulted in a streptococcus infection. However, the problem was very difficult to identify because the x-ray of the tooth showed no pathology. Unfortunately, 75% or more cases of infected root canal treated teeth show no signs of pain or swelling. The main problem is that toxic waste products from the dental foci are released to distant sites in the body.
In trying to solve the problem for 34 years, the usual medical treatments for rheumatoid arthritis were employed. These treatments include prednisone, steroid, chemotherapy drugs, methotrexate, and a deactivating drug, Enbrel. These treatments had only treated the symptoms but not the main problem.
Using a non-invasive 1930s technology, the streptococcal infection was resolved by removing the infected root canal tooth.