Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term condition that affects about 400,000 people in the UK.
It’s an autoimmune condition, where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the joints.
Common rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include swelling, joint pain, and have warm, red skin over the affected area.
But you could also be at risk of rheumatoid arthritis if you have a persistent dry mouth, it’s been revealed.
People with rheumatoid arthritis are at risk of some symptoms in other parts of their body, including in their mouth.
They’re more at risk of an autoimmune condition, known as Sjogren’s syndrome.
The condition’s main symptoms include dry mouth and dry eyes, said the Arthritis Foundation.
“Everyone has a dry mouth now and then – from nerves, stress, too much exercise or too little water,” it said.
“But if your dry mouth doesn’t go away – no matter how much H2O you drink – the problem may lie with your salivary glands.
“If you have rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, you’re also at increased risk of Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disorder whose main symptoms are dry mouth and eyes.
“Dry mouth is uncomfortable and can present daily challenges, including the inability to taste or enjoy food.
“More important, it affects your oral health and digestion. Saliva contains antibacterial compounds that prevent tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath.”
Sjogen’s syndrome is a long term condition that affects part son the body that produce fluid, said the NHS.
As well as dry mouth and eyes, it can lead to tiredness, joint pain, vaginal dryness and dry skin.
Speak to a GP if you’re worried about the symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome, it said.
Rheumatoid arthritis patients are also at risk of long-term other medical conditions.
Widespread inflammation is a common complication of rheumatoid arthritis, and is likely to affect the lungs, heart, eyes, and blood vessels.
Spotting the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis early is crucial, as early treatment could limit the risk of complications.
People most at risk of rheumatoid arthritis include women and smokers.
Those with a family history of the condition could also have a higher chance of developing the arthritis.