Previous studies have shown that patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have a higher susceptibility to periodontitis, but the results of individual studies remain controversial. The aim of the present meta-analysis was to comprehensively evaluate the association between RA and periodontitis. A systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed and EMBASE. Data were extracted using standardized forms, and odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for each study. Pooled data were estimated by fixed- and random-effects models if appropriate. Eight case-control studies were included in the present study. Study size ranged from 104 to 151,569 participants. The prevalence of periodontitis in RA patients ranged from 15.5% to 100%, compared with 10.0% to 82.1% in controls. In group 1 (control) and group 2, the heterogeneity was 38% and 11%, respectively. Using fixed-effects analysis, the overall pooled estimates of the ORs for periodontitis were 4.68 (95% CI: 3.11-7.05) and 1.28 (95% CI: 1.24-1.33) in groups 1 and 2, respectively. This meta-analysis indicates that RA was significantly associated with increased overall risk of periodontitis.