Can Arthritis Affect Dental Health?

arthritic conditionIf you have an arthritic condition, the disease can also affect your dental health in several detrimental ways. You might experience a change in the condition of the bones and joints of your face.

Arthritic Condition Can Lead to Having Temporomandibular Disorder

Your teeth are surrounded by bone, and you have a joint on both sides of your face that are a part of the jaw. When the jaw’s joints begin to degrade, you can develop temporomandibular joint disorder that makes it difficult to chew food or open your mouth to brush your teeth. If you have this painful condition, it can lead to having disrupted sleep causing additional health problems such as reducing your body’s immunity levels. Without immediate treatment for this joint disorder, the shape of your mouth can change causing your teeth to strike against each other. You may start to notice small chips on the enamel of your teeth from this poor alignment, and these damaged areas are where the bacteria will attack, leading to cavities.

An Inability to Chew Nutritious Foods to Protect Your Teeth

When it is difficult to open your mouth to chew hard foods such as vegetables or meat, you are not receiving enough nutrients, including calcium and protein that can strengthen your bones and teeth. In addition, you might only eat soft foods such as pastries or cookies, and these foods tend to stick to your teeth, leading to plaque buildup. Bacteria will grow in this plaque, causing you to have gingivitis, cavities and halitosis. Unless you seek help from a dentist right away, your dental health will continue to decline, and you may begin to have serious periodontal disease that can lead to loss of teeth.

Difficulties with Brushing and Flossing Your Teeth

As your teeth begin to decay along with shifting inside your mouth, it is essential to brush and floss your teeth frequently to remove bacteria. However, temporomandibular joint disorder can make it difficult to open your mouth wide enough to do this. Dentists recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day, but it is a good idea to brush your teeth more than that to remove food debris that contains bacteria. You must also use dental floss to scrape away the plaque that develops near your gums and between your teeth to prevent gingivitis. When you have arthritis, you may need to use a specialized toothbrush because the fingers of your hands have deformities, making it difficult to brush your teeth. An additional way to improve your dental health is by using an oral irrigator that removes bacteria from your mouth with a pressurized stream of water.