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  • Writer's pictureBarbara McClatchie, DDS

Oral Health and Arthritis: How Treating Dental Issues Can Help Reduce Systemic Inflammation

Have you ever experienced unexplainable pain or inflammation in your body, despite taking various medications? Tracy Thorpe knows this feeling all too well. He suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for years until he discovered the root cause of his condition was an undiagnosed dental infection. His story is a powerful reminder of the link between oral health and systemic inflammation, and how addressing one can positively impact the other. As we recognize May as Arthritis Awareness Month, it's important to understand the connection between oral health and overall wellness, and how treating dental issues can be a key factor in reducing inflammation and preventing or mitigating the symptoms of various ailments.

Tracy's Rheumatoid Arthritis journey began with a cocktail of anti-inflammatory drugs. However, continuing to see no improvement, he seeked alternative treatments. It wasn't until he visited Complete Health Dentistry of Columbus, a BaleDoneen Method (BDM) dental provider, that he learned about the severity of his periodontal disease and endodontic infection. With a four-hour periodontal therapy and systemic antibiotics, oral care probiotics, and prescription trays, Tracy's overall pain and RA symptoms began to decrease rapidly.



"I suggest anyone who has Rheumatoid Arthritis to think about your mouth as the gateway to your health, because it is... Since I walked into this office it has been nothing but great."

-Mr. Tracy Thorpe (Patient)




This case demonstrates how treating periodontal disease and other oral health issues can lead to a reduction in systemic inflammation and related ailments, such as RA and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The link between oral health and inflammation is well established, and it's important to recognize that treating dental issues can be a key factor in overall health and wellness.


Tracy also made changes to his diet and lifestyle, adopting a largely sugar-free and gluten-free diet, meditating daily, and seeking acupuncture and herbal supplements. By taking a more active role in his own healthcare and wellness, Tracy was able to regain much of his mobility and freedom, and he now enjoys spending time with his grandkids and riding his motorcycle.


Tracy's story highlights the importance of seeking out alternative answers if you don't feel you're getting what you need from your current healthcare providers. By being proactive about your oral health and overall wellness, you can take control of the sources of inflammation in your body and potentially prevent or mitigate the symptoms of various ailments. May is Arthritis Awareness Month, and it's a good reminder to prioritize your health and wellness in all aspects of your life.


If you or a loved one relate to Tracy’s story, please contact us. Complete Health Dentistry of Columbus offers personalized dental care, from cosmetic to restorative dentistry services. We strive to take a proactive and preventative approach to your health. Our mission is to optimize your oral and whole-body health.


Schedule an appointment by calling us at (614) 412-0916.


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