Is there a relationship between rheumatoid arthritis and periodontal disease?

J Clin Periodontol. 2000 Apr;27(4):267-72. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-051x.2000.027004267.x.


Aim: The aim of this study was to determine whether there is a relationship between disease experience of rheumatoid arthritis and periodontal disease.

Methods: 1,412 individuals attending the University of Queensland's School of Dentistry were assessed for the prevalence of periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Analysis of data obtained from a self-reported health questionnaire and dental records was carried out and included: number of individuals referred for advanced periodontal care (test group); number of individuals attending for routine dentistry; determination of rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus through self-reporting and assessment of prescription medications; assessment of periodontal disease through assessment of existing oral radiographs.

Results: In patients referred for periodontal treatment, the prevalence of self-reported rheumatoid arthritis was 3.95% which is significantly higher than that seen in patients not referred for periodontal treatment (0.66%) and also that reported in the general population (1%). Of those referred patients with rheumatoid arthritis, 62.5% had advanced forms of periodontal disease. These results were mirrored in the results of the self-reported prevalence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus which was consistent with the published higher prevalence in periodontal patients.

Conclusions: Based on data derived from self-reported health conditions, and not withstanding the limitations of such a study, we conclude that there is good evidence to suggest that individuals with moderate to severe periodontal disease are at higher risk of suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and vice versa.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / epidemiology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Dental Records / statistics & numerical data
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodontal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Periodontitis / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Queensland / epidemiology
  • Radiography, Dental / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires