Dentist Dunwoody – Try a Hand at Exercise or Not

Dunwoody dentist near meBrushing your teeth, buttoning your shirt, or opening a child proof bottle are all routine daily activities that most people take for granted.  But if you have arthritis and it affects your hands, performing these and other basic tasks can be challenging, if not impossible. Theoretically, “exercising” your hands should reduce the pain, improve your range of motion, and, ultimately, enable you to perform more easily the various tasks of daily living.  However, early in the morning use of your hands may aggravate your situation.

Arthritis of the hands manifests differently depending on what kind of arthritis you have.  Osteoarthritis, which is the most common cause of hand arthritis, involves the protective cartilage that covers the ends of your bones and its gradual deteriorates is due to wear and tear or, in some cases, to injury. If your hand pain is caused by osteoarthritis there’s a high probability that flossing and brushing your teeth may be affected.

By contrast, rheumatoid arthritis, sometimes referred to as RA, is an immune system disorder that damages the cells in the tissue that lines and lubricates the joints in your hand.  If rheumatoid arthritis is the cause of your hand pain, the distinction between osteoarthritis – and rheumatoid arthritis -induced hand pain is important for several reasons*:

First, if your pain is caused by rheumatoid, you should not  attempt to alleviate it with exercise alone. So the exercise associated with brushing  your teeth could exacerbate your joint problems.  Second, strengthening exercises can be  harmful if performed aggressively and should be done in moderation by people  with rheumatoid arthritis.  Third, you  should perform any type of exercise with caution while you’re having a flare up  of the joints.

So that your oral health does not suffer due to the deterioration  and pain associated with either arthritis I would suggest the purchase an  electric toothbrush.  My preference is the  Oral-B, but it really  doesn’t matter which one you use, you just need to use one.  Regardless of your condition, my experience  with patients who use the Oral-B regularly has shown results in the positive care  of their oral health.  With respect to  flossing, which is just as important in maintaining your oral hygiene, you may  need to increase the number of visits to the dentist to clean your teeth where  you can’t otherwise preform the task.  If  you discuss this with your dentist, you should be able to make arrangements just to have your  teeth cleaned on alternating appointments and forego unnecessary exam fees. Interestingly  enough, there is a possibility that the prescription by your physician may  afford you insurance coverage for the extra visits.   As a side note, if you utilize a health  savings account, you certainly should be about to cover the costs of all your
visits with pre-tax health dollars.  If  there is anything we can do to assist you, please do not hesitate to contact  us.

*This information is
not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Some of this
information was provided by Johns Hopkins website on arthritis. (

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD

Hanna Orland, DMD

3781 Chamblee Dunwoody Road

Chamblee, GA 30341



290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


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