BACKGROUND: The primary aim of this study was to compare the inflammatory activity in the gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) in a group of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and a group of matched controls. Secondarily, we aimed to evaluate the effect of rheumatologic treatment on periodontal inflammation.
METHODS: Seventeen individuals with RA with a mean duration of disease of 12.1 (+/- 9.9) years and the same number of systemically healthy individuals matched for age, gender, periodontal status, and tobacco use were selected. Medication data were registered, and GCF was collected by means of an intracrevicular washing method. Besides clinical registrations, periodontal inflammation was assessed by analysis of the cytokines interleukin (IL)-1beta and -18 and of elastase activity.
RESULTS: Amounts of IL-1beta and total elastase were significantly lower in the patient group. IL-1beta and total elastase had a significant and strong correlation in the RA group (r(s) = 0.883). This correlation was not observed in the control group.
CONCLUSION: The anti-inflammatory treatment taken by RA patients might influence the periodontal inflammation status represented by IL-1beta and elastase in the GCF.