16-year remission of rheumatoid arthritis after unusually vigorous treatment of closed dental foci

Clin Exp Rheumatol. Jul-Aug 2002;20(4):555-7.


This report describes a remission of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) of 16 years duration, apparently caused by the extraction of endodontically well-treated, healthy looking teeth. The only clue that the teeth were contributing to the disease pathogenesis in this case of RA was that the patient was able to reproducibly induce severe attacks of arthritis after prolonged, heavy pressure on some of his teeth treated with root canal fillings. After extraction, a small pus layer was found to cover the apices of the clinically healthy looking teeth. The rheumatoid factor (RF) became negative and the patient remained symptom free for the next 16 years. The possible connections between micro-organisms in closed dental foci under constant pressure and the chronicity and exacerbations of RA are discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / blood
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / etiology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / microbiology
  • Endodontics*
  • Focal Infection, Dental / complications*
  • Focal Infection, Dental / microbiology
  • Focal Infection, Dental / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Remission Induction
  • Rheumatoid Factor / blood


  • Rheumatoid Factor