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.