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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory arthritis affecting 1.3 million individuals in the United States. RA symptoms are due to an autoimmune response that leads to joint damage and significant societal burden related to patient discomfort and treatment costs. Several studies have indicated patients with RA have an increased prevalence of periodontal disease than those without RA or with other forms of arthritis. Current understanding of the pathogenesis of RA lacks a clear picture of the autoantibody response and its potential initiators, particularly specific serum antibodies directed to citrullinated peptides, which are associated with smoking, disease severity, periodontal disease, and microbiota. Additionally, the underlying mechanisms of bone resorption and synovial inflammation are similar to the pathogenesis of periodontitis. These common pathologic processes, shared risk factors, and potential initiating role of periodontal bacteria highlight the need for interprofessional management of patients with RA and periodontitis.
This course seeks to improve the dental care provider’s understanding of the interaction between periodontal disease and RA as well as aid in the clinical decision making to care for patients with RA in a dental setting.
Educational Support Provided By: Dentsply Sirona