Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and chronic periodontitis are the most common chronic inflammatory diseases with remarkable pathological and clinical similarities. A lot of similarities exist between RA and periodontitis at cellular and molecular levels. The relationship between these two chronic inflammatory diseases is still unclear. This case–control study was undertaken to determine the possible association between chronic inflammatory diseases like RA and periodontitis. The case group consisted of 100 patients attending the Rheumatology clinic who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA group). Age- and gender-matched 112 patients without RA attending the Outpatient wing of Department of General Medicine formed the control group (NRA group). The number of missing teeth, gingival index (GI), oral hygiene index-simplified (OHI-S), probing pocket depth (PPD) and clinical attachment levels (CAL) were evaluated in both the groups. Rheumatoid disease activity was assessed by DAS-28 score system. Systemic markers of inflammation like erythrocytic sedimentation rate (ESR) and serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) were assessed. There was a statistically significant difference in GI, OHI-S, PPD, CAL, ESR and CRP levels between cases (RA group) and controls (NRA group) (P < 0.05). Among subjects with RA, there was no association between the rheumatoid disease activity and the severity of periodontal disease. The occurrence and severity of periodontitis was found to be higher in RA subjects as compared to subjects without RA, suggesting a positive relation between these two chronic inflammatory diseases.