Do bacteria in the mouth affect risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis?

Investigators found similarities in the bacterial composition of the mouth among patients with early rheumatoid arthritis and those at risk of developing the disease, compared with healthy individuals who were not at risk. The findings come from a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Patients and at-risk individuals had an increased relative abundance of potentially pro- inflammatory bacteria in the mouth, suggesting a possible link between oral microbes and rheumatoid arthritis.

“Prevotella and Veillonella—both gram-negative anaerobes—were at higher relative abundance in saliva, and Veillonella was also at higher relative abundance in tongue coating, of both early rheumatoid arthritis patients and at-risk individuals compared to healthy controls,” the authors wrote.