The association between rheumatoid arthritis and periodontal disease in a population-based cross-sectional case-control study.

This is a research project aiming to bring knowledge on the possible connection between rheumatoid arthritis and periodontal disease, a subject researched before but with conflicting results.

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126 individuals fulfilled the criteria to be included in the study population by having a diagnose of rheumatoid arthritis, being 61 years or older, and having ten or more remaining teeth. An age-matched control group with no symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and with a negative medical record of ≥10 teeth was also put together and included in the study.

All participants underwent a clinical periodontal examination, including panoramic rayographs. Gingivitis was defined as presence of bleeding on probing at ≥20% of the sites. Periodontitis was defined as:

• bleeding on probing at >20% of the measured sites;

• having >2 non-adjacent sites presenting a probing pocket depth of ≥ 5mm;

• presence of bone loss at ≥2 sites with a distance between the cement enamel junction to the bone level of ≥5mm or furcation involvement diagnosed clinically (grade II) or from the panoramic radiographs.

The results show that women where overrepresented in the rheumatoid arthritis group. This group also presented individuals with a higher body mass index compared to the control group. In conclusion, this study confirms that there is an association between rheumatoid arthritis and a diagnose of periodontitis.

A summary of a scientific article

This summary of a scientific study by Renvert S et al. is presented by Anna Nilvéus Olofsson, DDS, Manager Odontology and Scientific Affairs. Click here for more information.