Hi all, hope you are all enjoying lovely chewy things to eat & nice hot tea & coffee because I'm not & it's probably all my fault.
I was diagnosed with moderate to severe periodontal disease a few years ago which means that I have bone erosion on my jaw and my flipping teeth are getting loose. I saw a specialist who showed me a hair-raising picture of my skull with holes in the jawline & said that it was not a question of whether my teeth fell out, but when. He attributed it to smoking or, possibly, hereditary.
I didn't stop smoking then but I did when I was diagnosed with RA a year or so later. I have hung on to my teeth till now but today I had the first one out since diagnosis - a big, fat, infected molar & it was a struggle despite the apparent looseness of it. I did not like it one little bit. Might have taken it in my stride more were it not for the unpleasant feeling that I'd brought it all on myself & also fearing that my jaw would crumble during the process (it didn't).
I've been reading about the possible connection between RA and periodontal disease. I've been aware of it for some time but my Rheumy poo-pooed it & to be honest I didn't particularly want to go there before. But some of the articles I've been reading today are quite convincing about a possible link - the most credible seeming sites don't seem to say that there's definitely a connection but come up with interesting theories and some compelling statistics.
Obviously theories about the causes of RA don't help anyone fight the disease once they've got it. But personally the thought of smoking leading to one which might lead to another - double trouble - helps keeps me off the fags & anything that does that is worth it.
And now I'm just interested in whether loads of others have periodontal disease. (it's quite common anyway but much more prevalent in people with RA apparently.) And also interested in whether you reckon there's a connection.