Is there a connection between inflammatory arthritis and periodontal disease?

I am currently having pain in several joints. My knees, fingers and toes are the most painful. I also have tingling in my ring and pinky fingers. Over the last week I have developed a very stiff neck, neck pain and I feel dizzy when I move my head to look upward. Along with my joint pain, I am having a terrible time with my teeth. Last July (2006) I had oral surgery (an Apicoectomy) due to an abscessed upper molar. My stitches opened up 3 days later, I got a post op infection, and now I am having trouble with several other upper teeth. I have uncomfortable pressure in my upper jaw, palate, nose and cheek bones. My throat is very red and sore, too. Even my tonsils have atrophied during the last year since my surgery (my rheumatologist even recently asked if I had my tonsils removed as a child). I have very little facial swelling, though, and just some gingavitis and mild redness the gums. My dentist says their “boggy”. Doctors are baffled as to what is causing all my dental problems and joint pain. 5 years ago I did have a bought of arthritis. Then, my rheumatoid factor was 38. However, all subsequent tests have been negative, including an ANA and one recent Elisa test for Lymes disease. So, my question is, could my arthritis be related to an ongoing infection (dental, or Lymes); or, would it be wise to keep persuing a autoimmune cause? With each round of clindamycin I do start to feel better…dentally and with my joint pain. After all these rounds of antibiotics, though, is it still possible to even have a lingering infection? If so, what would keep it from clearing all the way? Would it also be wise to be rechecked for Lymes disease? Thanks for taking the time to answer my complicated question!

Knee joint stiff and painful.

I am 34 yrs old. It started about 3 months ago. My right knee felt stiff and swelled up. It was tender and when pressed was painful. I had and continue to have difficulties, walking or driving. My right knee joint is always painful and stiff. I have not seen any doctor yet. Please advise.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease?

My question is concerning Lyme disease. about 3 weeks ago I developed an itch on my neck. it felt as though I must have gotten bitten. however i could detect no site where it looked as if i had been bitten. this area itched and hurt at the same time much like a spider bite i’d had. however I could seen nothing. inside my throat area almost seems affected as well. it comes and goes now and if heat is applied to the area I can see a red circular area. Does this sound like lyme tick bite? I have no insurance and don’t know if it is something I should have looked at. I sure hope you are able to give me some insight on this.

Lyme disease treatment concerns?

My cousin is battling Lyme disease and sought help through the Mayo Clinic in the Midwest…discovering that Mayo does NOT accept Lyme disease as a real illness….why is this as Hopkins does address this disease?

An expert in Lyme Arthritis?

I was infected with LYME disease at least in 04/2006 when I first had swelling on the left hip (limping) and shooting pain on both legs. Since the problem disappeared after a week, the problem was ignored. It was only in 10/2006 when my right knee swelled, I am diagnosed and treated with two months oral therapy of doxycycline. However, after the medication, the joint problem lingered around, in 04/2007 my left knee swell again. Meanwhile, I noticed symptoms of headache, blurry vision and recently heart problems and shortness of breath. The doctors I am seeing insisted that the LYME has been treated, in fact they seem to only thinking about early LYME and not at all familiar with more complicated forms of later LYME (therefore deny even the possibility). Since the symptoms are progressing, I am desperated trying to find an experienced doctor in DC or nearby area. Could you please advise?