Wednesday, August 06, 2008 SherOnTheLake, Community Member, asks

Q: Heart attack, stents, RA, now tooth extraction needed. Worried about inflammation. Not so good, huh?

If it's not one damn thing, it's another damn thing, then another damn thing and so on it seems to go. Anyway, I'm trying to be a good sport about all this being heaved upon my back but, gee; didn't need for my teeth to go South Laughing to be added grief right now.

Is this a side-effect from the RA does anyone think or just luck of the draw?

Arteries with stents holding them open probably don't favor any inflammation. Since it's feels obvious there's infection at the tooth site, it's most likely lolling around around in my body also.  I'm on Plavix, which is a blood thinner, plus blood pressure meds. Any suggestions?

If I don't make light of my situation and keep my humor my alternative would be depression. I prefer not to go there.

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Answers (3)
Lene Andersen, Health Guide
8/ 6/08 3:03pm

Whoa, Nellie - you really are getting pummelled right now! 


RA does carry with it a higher risk of heart-related illness, but I don't know about the tooth. Personally, it's difficult for me to clean my teeth properly, not just because the RA has affected the dexterity/mobility in my hands and arms, but my jaw joints have also been affected, so I can't open my mouth as wide as other people can. That means that I've had more cavities and teeth pulled, sometimes with a quite present infection, than the average person my age. In my case, the infection(s) stayed pretty localized in the mouth area. I've had infection in other places (bladder, sinus, etc.) and that makes me feel crappy and feverish, but when my teeth have been infected, I had no other symptoms than a bump on my gum and some pain in the affected tooth. However, given your stents, it's quite possible that you may need antibiotics before the procedure - I know people with mitral valve prolapse or recent joint replacements have to take antibiotics before going to the dentist to prevent the infection spreading into the rest of the body. Come to think of it, that seems to indicate that tooth infection might stay in the mouth until the area bleeds, either through dental cleaning or extraction. However, I'm certainly not a doctor, so it would be a good idea to check with your cardiologist, as well as your dentist, before you get this done. In the meantime, brush as frequently as possible and rinse with saltwater several times a day to keep your mouth as clean as possible (add salt to warm water, dissolve and rinse).

And I agree. Having a sense of humour - preferably as dark as possible - is an essential part of my coping mechanisms.  Hang in there and good luck!

tearsofapansy, Community Member
8/14/08 11:36am

I hear what you are saying. I have lost 2 teeth this year.  I feel the same if it isn't one damn thing it is another. I guess I am lucky so far I haven't had high blood pressure or any problems with my heart,"knock on wood".  I had been waiting to see what my copay was going to be to start taking Remicade now I am looking for copay assistance and I have good insurance. Now how funny is that? So days I just would soon stay in bed.  Hope things get better for you. Hang in there!!!!!

nikkinikki, Community Member
6/ 8/09 3:50pm

One over looked source for initiating rheumatoid arthritis are dental foci. Dental infections whether from an infected root canal tooth, gum disease or sites of previously extracted teeth all provide the potential of 300 to 400 different pathogens. Bacteria, viruses and fungi or any combination plus degenerating protein substances from tooth structures produce toxins (thiol ethers) which circulate throughout the entire body. Concentration of poisonous substances within a knee, hand, finger or other joint will cause inflammation. This was true in MT's case. Within one to two years before the onset of her RA, she had a root canal treatment performed on an upper left lateral incisor. This seemingly innocuous dental procedure resulted in a streptococcus inflection that remained present for 34 years. An x-ray of the treated tooth showed no visible pathology. Unfortunately a high percentage of root canal treated teeth (75 percent or more) become infected, exhibit none of the usual clinical signs and symptoms of pain, swelling or redness yet spew out their toxic waste products that affect distant sites.

A noninvasive approach utilizing technology developed in the 1930's was used to resolve the streptococcal infection within the tooth. Following two treatment sessions, MT's rheumatoid arthritis resolved by 90% and she stopped taking the Enbrel. No additional therapy was instituted at the time of treatment. This patient has regained a pain free quality of life. The key factor was the removal of the underlying cause -- infected root canal tooth -- which started the release of the tumor necrosis factor.

gray, Community Member
7/14/09 1:19pm

Could you let us know what the noninvasive approach was so that we could tell out doctor/dentist. My wife has the same problem

SherOnTheLake, Community Member
9/25/09 11:02pm

Gee, I am so sorry to just now have discovered your request two months late.
I got caught up in life somehow and missed your post.
It's been since early Spring since my 'surgery, lol, but after all of my worries and concern I emerged totally well and intact from the dentist arfter the removal of two of my teeth.
I took three days of anti-inflammatory meds before the extraction and stayed off my Plavix for those three days also.
The dentist was  ..goood; all went smoothly, not even much pain. I bled for under an hour. I was told to swish warmish salt water often in my mouth and spit out to get rid of any toxins. I had replacement teeth made that clamped in with a wire soon after.
Took some getting use to but, well, such-is-life.
I do hope your wife has as little trouble as I.

I originally thought I might wake up dead in the dental chair Tongue out .. Best of luck for y'all.

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By SherOnTheLake, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/18/12, First Published: 08/06/08