Mouths and knees
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
Bacteria might link the mouth and the knee. Researchers looked at data on 36 patients with gum disease and arthritis of the knee. In about 15 percent, the researchers found that the fluid that lubricates the knee had bacteria with the same DNA as the mouth plaque.
Dr. Nabil Bissada of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, suspects gum inflammation let the bacteria get into the bloodstream and wind up in the knee, where he thinks it could cause problems for arthritis patients. So he says:
“The easiest way is to minimize that risk by treating gum disease, or even better, preventing gum disease.”
The study in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: June 8, 2012