Orthopedics / Rheumatology

Health begins in the mouth

How ``mouth healthy`` are your orthopaedic patients?

Periodontitis and hidden oral inflammation are considered to be an independent risk factor for late complications in endoprostheses. In addition, periodontal inflammation can worsen rheumatoid diseases and negatively affect their progression.

The prevalence, severity and progression of rheumatoid arthritis are associated with periodontitis. The relationship is bidirectional, i.e. the presence of rheumatoid diseases promotes the development and progression of periodontitis. On the other hand, periodontal disease can also influence the progression of rheumatoid diseases.

The situation:

According to the Fourth German Oral Health Study (DMS IV), the incidence of periodontal diseases in adults and senior citizens has risen by 26.9 and 23.7 percentage points respectively since 1997. Among adults, approximately 52.7 percent currently suffer from moderate and 20.5 percent severe forms of periodontitis.

For seniors, 48.0 percent are affected by a moderate illness and 39.8 percent by a serious illness.

In Germany, about 1.3 million people suffer from rheumatic diseases. In addition to inflammatory activated arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common inflammatory joint disease. Worldwide, about 0.5 to 1 percent of the population is affected. In Germany, an estimated 800,000 people suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, with women affected some three times as often as men. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect people of all ages.

Scientific studies show that there may be correlations between periodontitis and rheumatic diseases. Even moderate periodontitis can increase the risk of rheumatism and arthritis 6-fold. The risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis may be 2.6-fold higher in patients with periodontitis and 9-fold in non-smokers with periodontal disease.

In order to avoid inflammation in endoprostheses and to minimize the risk of late loss due to contamination with pathogenic dental germs, regular screening and early detection of hidden oral inflammatory processes are recommended.

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