JADA, Vol. 140, JUL 2009
Periodontal therapy reduces the severity of active rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis and periodontal disease are chronic inflammatory diseases with certain clinical and pathogenic features in common including hard and soft tissue destruction. Forty subjects, 30 years or older were studied. All were taking antirheumatic drugs and all had active rheumatoid arthritis and severe, chronic periodontal (gum) disease. All subjects receiving scaling and root planning, standard treatment for gum disease, followed by oral hygiene instruction. All showed statistically significant improvement in both their periodontitis and rheumatoid arthritis at six weeks. The study provides additional evidence for an interaction between periodontal disease and a systemic condition, and its findings are consistent with those in previous reports that demonstrated an association between rheumatoid arthritis and periodontitis.