The aim of the study was to assess the effect of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) upon dental health. A questionnaire was mailed to all seropositive rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients aged 44-56 yr in the files of the two main departments of rheumatology in South Eastern Norway. Data were obtained from 125 patients, constituting 91% of the target group. The number of remaining teeth in these patients was not related to disease duration or physical dysfunction, whereas a relationship to prolonged use of medication for pain relief was indicated. Factors known to affect tooth loss in the general population, such as smoking habits, dental attendance, interdental cleaning habits, previous dental disease, and place of residence were found to be important in RA patients as well. The RA patients from Oslo had a mean number of 25 remaining teeth, which is the same as reported for the general Oslo population at this age. Oral dryness was reported by more than 50% of the RA patients, but was not related to the number of teeth. The conclusion is that serious and long lasting rheumatoid arthritis had little influence on the number of remaining teeth in this middle-aged group of Norwegians.