Poor Dental Care Associated with Lupus

A study just published in Clinical and Experimental Rheumatologyfound that exposure to periodontal bacteria on the gums around the teeth can increase lupus disease activity.  The team of researchers at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation examined blood samples from lupus patients to measure the amount of antibodies formed against specific bacteria.  They found that patients showed different amounts of antibodies to different oral bacteria.  Antibodies to a specific bacteria — A. actinomycetemcomitans — were associated with higher disease activity.

Investigators concluded, “These findings provide a rationale for assessing and improving periodontal health in SLE patients, as an adjunct to lupus therapies.”

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