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Joint Failures Potentially Linked to Oral Bacteria

The culprit behind a failed hip or knee replacements might be found in the mouth. DNA testing of bacteria from the fluid that lubricates hip and knee joints had bacteria with the same DNA as the plaque from patients with gum disease and in need of a joint replacement.

This study is one of many coming from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine that have linked oral bacteria to health problems when they escape from the mouth and enter the blood.

Working with University Hospitals Case Medical Center researchers, the dental, orthopedic and arthritis researchers suggest it might be the reason why aseptic loosening or prosthetic wear of the artificial joints fail within 10 years when no infection appears to be present. The pilot study's findings were reported in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology.

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