Is There a Connection Between Gum Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Scientists have long been aware of a connection between gum disease and systemic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. A new growing body of evidence now appears to link gum disease to rheumatoid arthritis (RA). While the evidence is not conclusive, a strong correlation between the two exists.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the joints by causing pain, stiffness, and inflammation. It currently affects .5% to 1% of the global population.1 Periodontal disease is also a chronic inflammatory condition; it primarily affects gum tissue. Evidence from one study states that over 75% of Americans have some form of gum disease, yet most people are unaware they have it.2 Gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, is typically marked by noticeably inflamed gums, as well as soreness and/or bleeding during brushing or flossing. If not treated, plaque accumulates at the gum line, causing further inflammation and gum recession. When the tissue of the pockets surrounding the teeth is damaged, harmful bacteria have access to the bloodstream—which in turn can cause serious problems in other parts of the body.3

Researchers have found a substantial increase in the prevalence of gum disease in patients with RA compared to those without it. In addition, the incidence of RA is higher in those with gum disease than those without.1 Statistics from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) explain the connection between the two chronic ailments based on several key factors. Both gum disease and arthritis result from an inflammatory response, and both are characterized by an overgrowth of bacteria that release toxins destructive to supporting tissues. People affected by both diseases exhibit more anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA), which increase bodily inflammation and exacerbate both conditions.4

Of the 20 bacterial species identified as periodontal pathogens, all are linked to gum disease. The most studied is Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis).1 Researchers from Germany’s Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg recently examined samples of synovial fluid (the fluid within joint capsules) from 42 patients with RA and found DNA matching oral bacteria—P. gingivalis in particular. The study concluded that those with RA are approximately 4.5 times more likely to have P. gingivalis bacteria in their synovial fluid than those without arthritis. Furthermore, they discovered that RA patients were 12 times more likely to have oral infections from P. gingivalis.5 Another study found that arthritis patients displayed a considerable increase in the levels of gingivitis bacteria, and the severity of gum disease correlated with the severity of the arthritis.7

What is the best gum disease treatment for patients with rheumatoid arthritis?

Oral health is interconnected with one’s overall health. And while the scientific community is in agreement regarding the connection between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis, the exact relationship between these two destructive chronic inflammatory diseases is unknown. It is known that systemic diseases (which includes arthritis) are accompanied by an increase in the severity of gum disease6 because oral infections create a pathway for bacteria to enter the bloodstream. This can elicit an inflammatory response elsewhere7 in the body. And even though plaque buildup is recognized as one of the primary causes of periodontal disease, the progression of the disease is largely dependent on the overall strength of the subject’s immune functioning.8 According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the presence of gum disease can be an indicator of several forms of systemic diseases including RA.9

It is unknown whether gum disease precedes RA or RA precedes gum disease. What is known is that it is extremely important to take oral care seriously if you have arthritis. Regular dental visits are a must. In fact, some health professionals recommend those with RA have as many as four annual cleanings, as research suggests that treating dental problems early on will result in decreased symptoms in patients with severe arthritis.10 One study showed that reversing gum disease through professional dental care actually decreased RA sufferers’ overall pain level, number of swollen joints, and morning stiffness.10

Finding a natural treatment for gum disease

Increasing public awareness of the connection between gum disease and systemic diseases like arthritis is important from a holistic perspective. Brushing and flossing regularly, and using all natural gum disease treatment products are key to oral health. Natural toothpastes and mouth rinses both clean and heal inflammation safely and effectively. The ingredients in Dental Herb Company’s line of oral care products are completely natural and proven to be effective in combating harmful bacteria, reducing inflammation and eliminating bad breath. Pure essential oils and organic herbal extracts work synergistically to maintain healthy teeth and gums, and they’re a great alternative to the chemical products lining most commercial shelves. The best natural remedy for gum disease, lasting oral health and a reduced risk for systemic diseases is preventative care. Commit to better oral care today.


  1. Ogrendik, Mesut. “Rheumatoid Arthritis Is an Autoimmune Disease Caused by Periodontal Pathogens.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 24 May 2013. Web. <>.
  2. “Gingivitis- In-Depth Report.” New York Times, n.d. Web. <>.
  3. “Joint Failures Potentially Linked to Oral Bacteria.” ScienceDaily, 18 Apr. 2012. Web. <>.
  4. Pablo, P., T. Dietrich, and TE McAlindon. “Association of Periodontal Disease and Tooth Loss with Rheumatoid Arthritis in the US Population.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. <>.
  5. Adams, Case. “Arthritis Linked to Gingivitis Bacteria.” GreenMedInfo, n.d. Web. <>.
  6. Chi, Angela C., DMD, Brad W. Neville, DDS, Joe W. Krayer, DDS, and Wanda C. Gonsalves, MD. “Oral Manifestations of Systemic Disease.” American Family Physician, n.d. Web. <>.
  7. Gude, Dilip, Rekha Rani Koduganti, Surya J. Prasanna, and Lakshmi Radhika Pothini. “Mouth: A Portal to the Body.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, 03 May 2006. Web.
  8. Kinane, DF. “Periodontitis Modified by Systemic Factors.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. <>.
  9. “Diagnosis of Periodontal Diseases.” Journal of Periodontology 74 (2003): University of Minnesota. Web. <>
  10. “Treating Gum Disease Helps Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers.” ScienceDaily, 29 May 2009. Web. <>.

Can Your Diet Help Prevent Periodontal Disease?

It’s a misconception that taking care of your oral health simply means practicing good hygiene habits. While it is true that regular brushing and flossing in combination with routine professional cleanings are of utmost importance, the health of your teeth and gums involves much more. Your gums are a reliable reflection of your overall health, and they suffer if there are any nutritional deficiencies in your diet. When considering the best course of action to fight off periodontal disease, get to the root of the problem by adopting a whole body approach.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key to allowing your bodily systems to thrive. When everything is functioning as it should, your natural defenses against all forms of illness and inflammation are substantially strengthened. Healthy gum tissue is less likely to allow penetration of gingivitis-causing bacteria. Adhering to a well-balanced diet is one of the best things you can do to help ensure exceptional oral health.

Natural Treatment for Periodontal Disease

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that assists in repairing connective tissue and regenerating bone—both of which are important to gum health. A deficiency of vitamin C is sometimes linked to the development of periodontal disease. A study in the Journal of Periodontology showed just how important this vitamin is to oral health. Researchers examined 12,419 American adults and found that those who consumed less than the daily recommended value (60mg/day) of Vitamin C were one-and-a-half times more likely to develop severe gingivitis than those who consumed more than 180mg per day.1

Vitamin D is another nutrient that is crucial to good oral health because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers at Boston University looked at the correlation between vitamin D intake and gingivitis and found that those with higher levels of vitamin D in their blood were less susceptible to developing gum inflammation.2

The antioxidant coenzyme Q10 is another beneficial nutrient to have in your diet, and it is primarily found in fish, meat, and in the germs of whole grains. A study from Osaka University in Japan provided evidence that a deficiency of the antioxidant coenzyme Q10 in the diet could be a contributing factor in the development of periodontal disease. The three-week study examined the effects of applying a topical coenzyme Q10 on gum tissue and demonstrated reductions in both inflammation and infection.3

It is clear that a diet rich in antioxidants is beneficial for a healthy mouth, but it is also important to make sure to get plenty of whole grains and calcium. Whole-grain foods are believed to play a role in the prevention of periodontal disease by reducing the overall amount of bodily inflammation.4  Calcium is critical in strengthening bone mass below the gum line and reducing the amount of decay caused by bacteria. Conversely, inadequate levels of dietary calcium cause periodontal disease to worsen.5

Dietary guidelines and tips that can boost your oral health and help prevent periodontal disease

  • Consume plenty of foods rich in vitamin C
  • Increase your intake of organic vegetables
  • Choose whole-grain products over those made with white flour
  • Get plenty of calcium, either through low-fat dairy products or dark, leafy greens
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid sodas and sugary drinks
  • Brush your teeth and floss at least twice a day
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco products
  • Choose all-natural oral care products over commercial brands

Consuming a well-balanced diet in conjunction with good hygiene habits is the best choice when it comes to natural treatment for periodontal disease. A well-balanced diet equips your body with the tools that it needs to effectively fight against infection and inflammation throughout the body, including in your mouth. All-natural oral care products like those made by Dental Herb Company are another important tool in the fight against periodontal disease. Dental Herb Company products are made from the highest quality essential oils and herbal extracts, and proven to be effective in maintaining optimal oral health. Integrate these natural oral care solutions into your healthier lifestyle and see what a difference choosing the natural path can make.


  1. J Periodontol. 2000 Aug;71(8):1215-23. Dietary vitamin C and the risk for periodontal disease. Nishida M, Grossi SG, Dunford RG, Ho AW, Trevisan M, Genco RJ.
  2. Dietrich, T., M. Nunn, B. Dawson-Hughes, and HA Bischoff-Ferrari. “Association between Serum Concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and Gingival Inflammation.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 82 (2005): 575-80.Http:// U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. <>.
  3. Effect of topical application of coenzyme Q10 on adult periodontitis Mol Aspects Med. 1994;15 Suppl:s241-8. Effect of topical application of coenzyme Q10 on adult periodontitis. Hanioka T, Tanaka M, Ojima M, Shizukuishi S, Folkers K.
  4. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jun;83(6):1395-400. Whole-grain and fiber intakes and periodontitis risk in men. Merchant AT, Pitiphat W, Franz M, Joshipura KJ.
  5. J Periodontol. 2000 Jul;71(7):1057-66. Calcium and the risk for periodontal disease. Nishida M, Grossi SG, Dunford RG, Ho AW, Trevisan M, Genco RJ

Holistic Dentistry: Natural Treatment for Periodontal Disease

Over the past decade, consumer interest in choosing natural alternative medicines and therapies has grown substantially. Holistic dentistry, also known as natural dentistry, is one area in particular that has become more popular. If you’re wondering whether holistic dentistry is the right choice for treating your periodontal disease, here’s what you need to know.

The main principle of holistic dentistry is to treat the patient as a whole, rather than just as a set of teeth. For example, the focus is not solely on the treatment of the symptoms of gingivitis and periodontal disease, but on the treatment of the underlying causes of the symptoms. By examining these underlying causes, symptoms can be eliminated in a way that is natural and minimally invasive.

Holistic dentists see all parts of the body as interconnected, and they believe that if an imbalance exists in one part of the body, it can lead to health problems in other parts. In short, oral health is connected to your overall health.  For example, numerous scientific studies have shown that inflammation caused by periodontal disease increases your risk for developing degenerative diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer1. Holistic dentists (also known as natural dentists) examine the diet and lifestyle of their patients, and explain to them how unwise choices can negatively impact the health of their teeth and gums. When it comes to treatment for periodontal disease, the goal of holistic dentistry is not to find a quick fix, but to promote preventative care along with a balanced diet to ensure long lasting oral health.

Holistic dentistry minimizes the amount of potentially harmful chemicals that we put into our body, such as the filling material in our teeth, chemicals found in commercial oral care products, and the food that we consume. These chemical additives can have a negative cumulative effect of which most individuals are largely unaware. Holistic dental treatments, proper daily oral hygiene, the use of all natural products, and a commitment to a healthy diet can all help to prevent periodontal disease.

Truly Natural® Ingredients

Cinnamon Bark

An essential oil that reduces bacteria, inflammation and irritation.

Dental Herb Company supports the field of holistic dentistry for its effectiveness in promoting excellent oral health. Routine dental cleanings and proper home care between visits can help people avoid periodontal surgery. Dental Herb Company Truly Natural products contain pure essential oils of red thyme, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint, as well as extracts of echinacea and gotu kola—all of which work synergistically to provide antimicrobial, tissue conditioning and anti-halitosis care for your teeth and gums.

Dental Herb Company products are available through thousands of dental and health professionals nationwide, as well as online. Ask your dentist about Dental Herb Company products so that you can experience the results for yourself.


  1. Goepp, Julius, MD. Optimal Oral Health Reduces Degenerative Diseases. Rep. Life Extension Magazine, July 2009. Web. <>. 
  2. Hayley, Boyd, Ph.D. “The Relationship of Toxic Effects of Mercury to Exacerbation of the Medical Condition Classified as Alzheimer’s Disease.” Food and Drug Administration, n.d. Web. <>.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Facts About What Causes Periodontal Disease: The Most Common Risk Factors

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a chronic inflammation of the gums that is caused by a buildup of bacteria-laden plaque that irritates the gum tissue. The mildest form of periodontal disease is gingivitis which, if left untreated, can eventually result in the development of periodontitis—the most serious form of gum disease and the leading cause of tooth loss in adults 35 and older.1 The most common risk factors for developing this disease2 are:

  • A family history of periodontal disease
  • Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, menstruation, puberty and menopause
  • Illnesses and diseases that interfere with proper immune functioning such as diabetes
  • Poor lifestyle habits, such as maintaining an unhealthy diet, smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Improper daily oral care and neglecting to have regular professional cleanings
  • Certain medications that reduce the amount of saliva in the mouth

When not treated properly, toxins that are produced by plaque, in combination with the body’s constant inflammatory response, can lead to a breakdown of the connective and bone tissue that are responsible for holding the teeth in place to the point where the gum tissue and bone can become irrevocably damaged.

The good news is that the best treatment for periodontal disease is prevention—and it’s simply a matter of practicing good habits when it comes to your oral hygiene. Dental Herb Company offers oral care products made with the highest quality pure essential oils and organic herbs instead of the harsh chemicals found in most oral care products. When used as an integrated herbal protocol along with regular flossing and dental hygiene maintenance, Dental Herb Company products help fight bacteria that can cause gingivitis and lead to more serious gum diseases. If your gums are more red and puffy than normal or you have noticed bleeding when brushing or flossing, the Dental Herb products can help to reduce bacteria and prevent periodontal disease from progressing.

How natural treatment for periodontal disease plays a key role in a healthy lifestyle

There are many health benefits to using natural dental care products over commercial varieties, and consumers are increasingly becoming aware of this fact and making the switch. Herbal mouth care products are made from ingredients that are naturally occurring rather than those that are produced in a laboratory. Studies have shown that since microorganisms do not develop a tolerance to the antibacterial effects of the essential oils used in herbal toothpastes and mouth rinses, they are even more effective in preventing tooth decay and periodontal disease than commercial toothpaste that relies on toxic antibiotics like triclosan to kill germs.

The increase in consumer demand for organic and natural products has now extended beyond dietary staples and into the dental care aisle. People are looking for additional ways in which they can eliminate artificial ingredients and chemicals from their diets, and changing their brand of toothpaste is an effective way to limit toxins that have the potential to have long-term negative accumulative effects on the body. The majority of commercial toothpastes contain fluoride because of its cavity-fighting properties, but it can be highly toxic in large doses, especially for young children. In fact, in 2009 there were over 23,000 calls to poison control regarding fluoride toxicity from toothpaste.3 These toothpastes also contain the detergent sodium lauryl sulfate, which damages the protective mucous lining of your mouth and can exacerbate bad breath and lead to canker sores. In addition, many of the artificial dyes and sweeteners that are added to these over-the-counter oral care products have been linked to behavioral and other health problems.4

Of course, one of the last places you’d expect to find pesticides, cancer-causing chemicals, and toxic additives that have been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease is in your medicine cabinet. Sadly, all of these toxins and questionable additives are found in the majority of commercial toothpaste brands5. You brush your teeth with the intention of keeping your teeth and gums healthy, but while you are doing this, are you exposing your body to a cocktail of toxins? The potential for long-term consequences that can result from an accumulation of these chemicals is cause for concern and reason enough to make the switch to 100% natural tooth care products. 

Prevent periodontal disease by paying attention to the warning signs and practicing proper oral care

In order to fight gingivitis and prevent it from worsening, it is imperative that you brush, rinse and floss your teeth regularly in order to reduce the amount of plaque build up under the gum line. One of the best ways to boost your oral hygiene routine is to use natural products, such as those made by Dental Herb Company.

Dental Herb Company products are made with precisely calculated proportions of the finest quality pure essential oils and organically grown herbs to work synergistically in reducing oral bacteria and maintaining healthy teeth and gums. The unique Tooth & Gums System includes a Tooth & Gums Tonic®,  Tooth & Gums Essentials® ToothpastePerioSpot Gel® Under the Gums Irrigant® and a Tooth & Gums Spritz.® These products provide the greatest results when used together. Dental Herb Company products are available through thousands of dental and health professionals nationwide, and are also available online.  Dental Herb Company natural oral care products can help combat bacteria that can lead to periodontal disease. Ask your dentist about Dental Herb Company or order some for yourself so that you can experience the benefits of heathier teeth and gums!


  1. “Fallacies About Gum Disease.” American Academy of Periodontology, n.d. Web.
  2. “Gingivitis.” Cleveland Clinic. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, n.d. Web.
  3. “Dental Products.” Fluoride Action Network, n.d. Web.
  4. Baker, Scott. “The 5 Hidden Dangers In Toothpaste.” Down With Basics. Down With Basics, 3 July 2011. Web.
  5. Turnbull, Philippa. “The Dangers of Toothpaste and Deodorant.” Positive Health Online, n.d. Web.