Gum disease may lie at the root of some arthritis flareups

It’s a well-documented medical mystery: Patients with gum disease are less likely to respond to rheumatoid arthritis treatments. But new research may help explain this link between gum disease and an otherwise disparate condition. The findings, published in Science Translational Medicine, suggests that breaches in damaged gums allow bacteria in the mouth to seep into the bloodstream, activating an immune response that ultimately pivots to target the body’s own proteins and causes arthritis flareups.

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