Periodontal condition in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
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The purpose of this clinical study was to investigate if periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are associated. The study included 39 RA patients (test group) and 22 age- and gender-matched healthy individuals (control group). Questionnaires on general and oral health were applied and a complete periodontal exam, including visible plaque, marginal bleeding, attachment loss (AL) and number of teeth present, was also performed by a single calibrated examiner. Diabetes mellitus patients and smokers were excluded. RA patients had fewer teeth, higher prevalence of sites presenting dental plaque and a higher frequency of sites with advanced attachment loss. Although the prevalence of dental plaque was higher in the test group (Chi-square test, p = 0.0006), the percentage of sites showing gingival bleeding was not different (Fisher's exact test, p > 0.05). Based on our results, we suggest that there is an association between periodontal disease and RA.
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