1Department of Periodontology, School of Dentistry
2Molecular Immunology Research Center, Department of Immunology, School of Medicine
3Dentistry Research Institute
4Rheumatology Research Center, School of Medicine
5Department of Periodontics, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran
Background: Periodontitis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) share a number of clinical and pathologic features, one of which is the presence of the tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)-induced bone resorption that is involved in the pathogenesis of both. Objectives: To investigate the effect of TNF-α blockade on periodontal conditions in patients with active RA. Method: The periodontal statuses of 36 patients (26 females, 10 males) diagnosed with active RA were evaluated both before and after anti-TNF-α therapy. Gingival index, bleeding on probing (BOP), probing pocket depth (PPD), oral hygiene index (OHI), and levels of TNF-α in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) were measured at the baseline and 6 weeks after the treatment. Wilcoxon signed ranked test was used for statistical analyses. Results: Based on OHI (p=0.860), the level of plaque control did not change during the study period, but there was a significant reduction in gingival inflammation based on the mean BOP (p=0.049) and GI (p=0.036) before and after 6 weeks of anti-TNF-α therapy. The mean PPD index did not significantly differ at the baseline and 6 weeks after treatment (p=0.126). Conclusion: Anti-TNF-α therapy might have a desirable effect on periodontal conditions and might reduce TNF-α level in GCF of patients with RA.