It has been a long-held supposition of many doctors and researchers that dental infections and gum disease play an important role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and the following recent research provides further validation of this type of infectious trigger.
Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans-induced hypercitrullination links periodontal infection to autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis. Sci Transl Med. 2016 Dec 14;8(369):369ra176.
Multi-center research conducted at numerous, prestigious medical institutions in the United States and Denmark, conclude that an oral pathogen, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (Aa), is one of a number of organisms contributing to periodontal gum disease that can trigger the production of auto-antibody citrullinated proteins in genetically susceptible (HLA-DRB1) rheumatoid arthritis (RA) individuals. These authors state that the formation of periodontal citrullinated proteins due to Aa mirror the rheumatoid joint in which hypercitrullination occurs. Further, that Aa had the ability to cause hypercitrullination in the neutrophils of the host and led to elevation in anti-CCP and rheumatoid factor (RF). These authors conclude that Aa is a bacterial candidate for triggering RA.