Jawbone loss predates rheumatoid arthritis

December 1, 2017
In the above x-ray image, the white dotted line indicate the normal jawbone level at a molar site in the lower jaw. The individual has periodontitis and has therefore lost jawbone support (red line). The bottom x-ray image shows a foot with typical bone destrguction (red arrows) typical for rheumatoid arthritis. Credit: Pernilla Lundberg and Solbritt Rantapää-Dahlqvist

Jawbone loss caused by periodontitis predates the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. This according to research from Umeå University in Sweden presented in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology. The research also shows a causal relationship between jawbone loss and elevated levels of the bone resorption inducing molecule RANKL in the blood.

Jawbone loss caused by inflammation is characteristic to both periodontitis - a disease leading to tooth loss - and . Despite differences in what causes the inflammation in periodontitis or rheumatoid arthritis, it has now been established that there is a correlation between the two.

"For example, it's known that individuals with rheumatoid arthritis to a great extent show symptoms of than individuals with healthy joints. It's also been known that treatments aimed at periodontitis also ease symptoms from joints in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. What's not been proven so far, however, is a between the two," says Pernilla Lundberg, senior lecturer at the Department of Odontology at Umeå University, and one of the researchers behind the study.

In a collaboration, Pernilla Lundberg and Solbritt Rantapää-Dahlqvist, who is a researcher at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umeå University, have analysed the prevalence of loss in dental x-rays of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. The X-rays were performed before arthritis symptoms had developed, and were compared with X-rays from matching controls. All participants in the study had on numerous occasions donated blood to the Medical Biobank Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study. Dental X-rays had been retrieved from the treating dentists.

The results, now presented in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology, show for the first time that the individuals who later develop rheumatoid arthritis to a greater degree show signs of jawbone loss. Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis also to a greater extent develop jawbone loss over time. Among the individuals who later developed rheumatoid arthritis, the greatest degree of bone loss was detected in individuals who also showed elevated levels of the inducing molecule RANKL in the blood.

"As far as we know, no one has previously been able to show that individuals who later develop rheumatoid arthritis have a higher degree of jawbone loss before showing any symptoms of arthritis," says Solbritt Rantapää-Dahlqvist.

"Our results indicate a causal relationship between and rheumatoid . Nevertheless, further clinical studies and studies on basic mechanisms are needed in order to prove the existence of a causal relationship with certainty."

Explore further: Rheumatoid arthritis linked to an increased risk of COPD

More information: Elin Kindstedt et al, Marginal jawbone loss is associated with onset of rheumatoid arthritis and is related to plasma level of receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL), Arthritis & Rheumatology (2017). DOI: 10.1002/art.40394

Related Stories

Rheumatoid arthritis linked to an increased risk of COPD

October 19, 2017
New research suggests that rheumatoid arthritis may increase the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The findings, which appear in Arthritis Care & Research, indicate that greater vigilance may ...

Obesity may influence rheumatoid arthritis blood tests

April 10, 2017
New research reveals that in women, obesity may influence blood tests used to diagnose and monitor rheumatoid arthritis. The findings, which appear in Arthritis Care & Research, indicate that physicians need to take obesity ...

Maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels may help to prevent rheumatoid arthritis

November 20, 2017
Maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels may help to prevent the onset of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, research led by the University of Birmingham has discovered.

Early signs of arthritis can be found in the mouth

May 4, 2015
A common gum disease may indicate a person's risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis later in life, according to a University of Adelaide dental expert.

Bioactive lipids and rheumatoid arthritis

November 2, 2017
Sphingolipids – long-chain fatty acid molecules found in cell membranes – are broken down by sphingomyelinase enzymes into bioactive products such as ceramide. Growing evidence suggests roles for sphingolipid metabolites ...

Pedometers increase activity and decrease fatigue in rheumatoid arthritis patients

April 5, 2017
Providing pedometers, with and without providing step targets, to individuals with rheumatoid arthritis increased activity levels and decreased fatigue in a recent study.

Recommended for you

US arthritis prevalence is much higher than current estimates

November 27, 2017
New research indicates that the prevalence of arthritis in the United States has been substantially underestimated, especially among adults

Old World monkeys could be key to a new, powerful rheumatoid arthritis therapy

November 16, 2017
In the quest for a new and more effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC looked to a primate that mostly roams the land in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It was ...

Study lists foods for fighting rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and progression

November 8, 2017
A list of food items with proven beneficial effects on the progression and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is provided in a new study published today in Frontiers in Nutrition. The authors suggest incorporating these foods ...

Prototype equipment can detect rheumatoid arthritis

September 28, 2017
According to a first clinical study published in the scientific journal Photoacoustics, the University of Twente and various European partners have designed a device that shows the difference between healthy fingers and arthritic ...

Improving the recognition of anxiety and depression in rheumatoid arthritis

August 28, 2017
A study conducted by Keele University shows that patients with rheumatoid arthritis who are also suffering with anxiety or depression may avoid talking to their GP about their mental health symptoms.

How you think about your arthritis makes a difference

August 24, 2017
(HealthDay)—How well you cope with knee arthritis depends a lot on your mental outlook, a new study suggests.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.