Bacteria in the gums may contribute to artificial hip & knee
joint replacement failure
associated with gum disease may relocate to the joints and cause hip or knee
prosthesis failure, according to researchers from
Case Western Reserve
University School of Dental Medicine.
"For a long time, we've
suspected these bacteria were causing problems in arthritis patients, but never
had the scientific evidence to support it," Nabil Bissada, DDS, MSD, of the
department of periodontics at the Western Reserve University School of Dental
Medicine, stated in an university news release.
The researchers suggest
the findings may explain why aseptic loosening or prosthetic wear of artificial
joints occurs within 10 years when no infection appears to be present. The
findings were reported in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology.
researchers looked for oral bacterial DNA in the synovial fluid of 36 patients
with arthritis, periodontal disease and either native or clinically aseptically
failed prosthetic joints, according to the abstract. Twenty-five patients had
osteoarthritis (OA) and 11 patients had rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The
researchers reported failed prostheses in eight OA patients and one RA patient.
Bacterial DNA was collected from the synovial fluid of hip and knee
joints. The researchers also gathered pooled subgingival samples and examined
the patients for periodontal disease. The investigators found bacterial DNA in
the synovial fluid of 13.9% of patients - two RA patients (one native knee, one
failed prosthesis) and three OA patients (one native knee, two failed
"We have a link now and want to see just how much of a
trend this is," Bissada stated. "We also will be able to see if treating the
periodontal disease can reduce the future of costly joint replacements."
For more information about periodontal disease, please click
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