BackgroundThe association between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and periodontitis remains unclear.MethodsWe studied oral health and periodontitis in a population-based case-control study of individuals with ≥10 remaining teeth ≥61 years of age and either with, or without a diagnosis of RA. 126 dentate individuals with RA were recruited together with age-matched control individuals without RA. The control individuals were recruited from the general population from the same city (n = 249). A dental examination including a panoramic radiograph was performed on all participants. All individuals with RA were examined and medical records were reviewed by a rheumatologist. In the control group, none of the participants presented with symptoms of RA and their medical records were also negative.ResultsThe RA group included more women (66.7% vs. 55.8%) (p < 0.01). Individuals in the RA group had a higher body mass index (BMI) (p < 0.001). A diagnosis of periodontitis was more common in the RA group (61.1%) than in the control group (33.7%) (p = 0.001). Binary logistic regression analysis identified that a BMI > 25 (OR 6.2, 95% CI 3.6, 10.5, p = 0.000), periodontitis (OR 2.5 95% CI 1.5, 4.2 p = 0.000), and female gender (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.3–4.0, p = 0.003) were associated with RA.ConclusionRA was associated a diagnosis of periodontitis.