Zhong and coworkers have recently published a careful synthesis of all studies that have evaluated periodontitis (inflammation of the gums around the teeth) and lupus. There were 10 studies which evaluated over 80,000 patients from around the world. Most of the studies were from countries with a nation-wide health system which links all medical and dental records of all citizens. They found that lupus patients were 5 times more like to have periodontitis than those without lupus. This is important because there is other information linking oral health with systemic inflammation. One thought is that there might be a connection between dental infection and inflammation and auto-immune diseases.While there is no definite proof that periodontitis could cause or contribute to lupus, it would be prudent to maintain good dental hygiene.
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The Cincinnati Rheumatic Disease Study Group (CRDSG) is an organization of practicing rheumatologists dedicated to improving the care of patients with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. It strives to do this by performing rigorous and ethical clinical research with the goal of developing better treatments for all patients with these conditions.
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