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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 111-115

Oral hygiene and periodontal status in a group of patients with rheumatoid arthritis

1 Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Colombo, Sri Lanka
2 Professor, Division of Microbiology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Colombo, Sri Lanka
3 Medical Officer, Ministry of Health, Colombo, Sri Lanka
4 Consultant Rheumatologist, Teaching Hospital, Nuwaraeliya, Sri Lanka
5 Consultant Rheumatologist, Teaching Hospital, Kandy, Sri Lanka

Correspondence Address:
Jayalath AMS Jayatilake
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Colombo
Sri Lanka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Periodontitis (PD) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) having similar clinico-pathological characteristics frequently affect the middle-aged population. Objectives: To study the oral hygiene (OH) and periodontal disease (PD) status in patients with RA and without RA (control) and to investigate the association between PD and RA. Methods: OH and PD were assessed in RA patients (n = 35) and controls (n = 35) using plaque index (PI), bleeding on probing (BOP), probing pocket depth (PPD) and connective tissue attachment loss (AL). RA severity was deter- mined with a standardized disease activity score (DAS). Results: Mean age of RA and control groups were 54.7 ± 9.9 and 51.1 ± 7.1 years. Either group female participation was 91.4%. PI and AL in the RA group positively correlated with DAS (Spearman's rho 0.48, 0.67; P 0≤ 0.01). PI, BOP, PPD and AL were higher in RA patients ( P ≤ 0.01) than the control. RA group had higher mean number of missing teeth (16.1 ± 7.8) than control (6.5 ± 3.6) (P ≤ 0.01). Conclusions: RA is common in middle-aged females. RA patients' PI and DAS showed positive correlation which could be attributed to compromised OH practice resulted by increasing severity of RA. AL in RA group had positive correlation with DAS implying that severe PD leads to severe arthritis and vice versa. PI, BOP, PPD and AL are high in RA patients showing that they are prone to PD. RA patients may also lose teeth early.

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