Chronic periodontitis (CP) is caused by enhanced resorption of the alveolar bone supporting the teeth and is associated with intraoral inflammation after infection with certain bacteria. The VDR gene polymorphism was reported recently to be deeply related to the occurrence of tuberculosis and infection of chronic hepatitis B virus. This may be interpreted to indicate a close relationship between VDR gene polymorphism and the immunological action, because vitamin D activates monocytes, stimulates cell-mediated immunity, and suppresses lymphocyte proliferation. The purpose of the present study was to clarify whether polymorphisms in VDR gene exons are associated with the incidence of CP. A case-controlled study was performed on a group of 168 unrelated Japanese subjects whose ages ranged from 35 to 65 years. The Taq I polymorphism in the VDR gene was found to be associated significantly with CP (X2=4.48, P=0.034). We performed multiple logistic regression analyses on the TT genotype, which was found to be associated with CP, and on well-recognized risk factors, smoking and diabetes. The odds ratio (OR) for the genotype (TT/Tt) was 2.73 (95% CI 1.11-6.68, P=0.028), being larger than the unadjusted value. This indicates that the VDR gene polymorphism (TT genotype) is a risk factor for CP, independently of smoking and diabetes.