Clean teeth can decrease the severity of arthritis: Link between oral bacteria and rheumatoid arthritis. A new study shows that brushing the teeth well could make your arthritis better or even help to prevent rheumatoid arthritis in those who are predisposed. Researchers found a link between the bacterium responsible for gum disease and earlier onset of rheumatoid arthritis, as well as faster progression and greater severity of the condition. The bacterium, P. gingivalis, produces a unique enzyme, PAD. This enzyme facilitates the conversion of arginine to Citrulline. This conversion results in production anti CCP antibodies which are responsible for the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Although it has been for shown earlier that gum disease is twice more common in patients with rheumatoid arthritis this research has made the picture more clear.
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In a recently conducted study at Amrita institute of medical sciences it was found that correct diagnosis is made only after 10 years in rheumatoid arthritis patients. This study was conducted on more than 300 rheumatoid arthritis patients attending outpatient clinics at Amrita hospital. It was found that the majority of patients who had joint pains consulted doctors, but only less than 10% were correctly diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis despite having typical symptoms and signs.The average delay in making a correct diagnosis was 10 years in these patients who were running from pillar to post with the agonizing joint pain. It has been shown very clear from the studies that if you diagnose rheumatoid arthritis in less than 6 months these patients have very good outcome and have a normal life. But as the time progresses the inflammation, which persists in the joints causes damage to the joints resulting in cartilage destruction. While if the diagnosis is made early in the disease, joints can be protected and these patients can have a normal joint and normal quality of life. IN western countries, it was shown that the average delay in diagnosis is less than a year. In brief a delay in diagnosis of 10 years is unacceptable in patients who have joint pains. What was more alarming was that this happened in Kearla, the most literate state of the country! I feel very bad for these patients who suffer with joint pains and their lives in the four walls of their houses thinking that rheumatoid arthritis is end of life and there is no good treatment available for this deadly disease. Who is at fault? I feel doctor community at large and rheumatologists in particular are at fault. The efforts from us to tell people that good and effective treatment is available is really inadequate. I am sure the picture is going to change in coming years and patients with joint pains will get the right diagnosis and the right treatment in less than 6 months.
Kerala Arthritis & Rheumatism Society, in association with Dr.Shenoy’s CARE and Sree Sudheendra Medical Mission is observing `Arthritis Week’, in connection with “World Arthritis Day 2015”, from 11 October 2015 to 18 October 2015. On 11 October 2015, 5:30 pm we had organized “Arthritis Awareness Walkathon” at Marine Drive, Kochi followed by a lantern flying ceremony, which was inaugurated by, Kerala South zone ADGP Sri. K.Padmakumar IPS. On 18 October 2015, the last day of the `Arthritis Week’, we are celebrating the first anniversary of Dr.Shenoy’s CARE. We have organized seminars, open forum for patients, free blood checkup etc on this day. The program will be inaugurated by Sri. K.Babu, Hon. Minister for Fisheries, Ports & Excise, Government of Kerala. The chief guest is Dr.K N Raghavan, IRS, Customs Commissioner of Kochi.