Could Gum Disease Cause Rheumatoid Arthritis?
A type of bacteria found in severe gum disease may trigger many cases of rheumatoid arthritis, researchers reported Wednesday.

The bacteria is found in about a third of people, and the researchers found evidence that 47 percent of patients with rheumatoid arthritis had evidence of an infection.
It's called Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, or "A a" for short.

The bacteria damages immune system cells called neutrophils in a way that seems to enrage the immune system, which then attacks them. It's the same process that appears to trigger the inflammation seen in rheumatoid arthritis, Maximilian Konig of Johns Hopkins University and colleagues found....