oral bacteria

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a particularly nasty form of arthritis. While the more common form of arthritis — osteoarthritis — typically results from use and overuse of joints which wear down protective cartilage, RA is known to result from autoimmunity. The immune system is misdirected to attack the lining of joints, causing swelling, severe pain, and if not treated joint destruction. Not only the joints are affected, however. RA involves an inflammatory process that can affect many body organs, including the skin, heart, lungs and bone marrow. For example, it's known that RA sufferers have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.

Of course, just because autoimmunity is involved doesn't mean that external...