AIM - To test the hypothesis that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) influenced levels of salivary biomarkers of periodontal disease.
METHODS - Medical assessments, periodontal examinations and pain ratings were obtained from 35 RA, 35 chronic periodontitis and 35 age- and gender-matched healthy controls in a cross-sectional, case-controlled study. Unstimulated whole saliva samples were analysed for interleukin-1β (IL-1β), matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8) and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) concentrations.
RESULTS - The arthritis and healthy groups had significantly less oral disease than the periodontitis group (P<0.0001), with the arthritis group having significantly more sites bleeding on probing (BOP) than matched controls (P=0.012). Salivary levels of MMP-8 and IL-1β were significantly elevated in the periodontal disease group (P<0.002), and IL-1β was the only biomarker with significantly higher levels in the arthritis group compared with controls (P=0.002). Arthritis patients receiving anti-TNF-α antibody therapy had significantly lower IL-1β and TNF-α levels compared with arthritis patients not on anti-TNF-α therapy (P=0.016, 0.024) and healthy controls (P<0.001, P=0.011), respectively.
CONCLUSION - RA patients have higher levels of periodontal inflammation than healthy controls, i.e., an increased BOP. Systemic inflammation appears to influence levels of select salivary biomarkers of periodontal disease, and anti-TNF-α antibody-based disease-modifying therapy significantly lowers salivary IL-1β and TNF-α levels in RA.
© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.