The clinical parallels between periodontitis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are clear: Both diseases are characterized by chronic inflammatory changes and subsequent tissue destruction. In rheumatoid arthritis, synovial membrane inflammation occurs first as a result of an immune system overreaction caused by highly regulated pro-inflammatory cytokines, culminating in tissue degeneration. Even though the etiology of rheumatoid arthritis is still unclear, similar risk factors are considered as triggers or drivers of the disease to those in periodontitis:
Studies show that the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis is increased among periodontitis patients. Conversely, patients with rheumatoid arthritis are around 8x more likely to suffer concomitantly from periodontitis.