Background and Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the oral health-related quality of life of patients presenting to a periodontal specialist by means of six questions, and to assess the perceived oral health by means of one question. Self-assessments of oral health were associated with clinical characteristics. Material and Methods: Logistic regression models were used to associate self-assessments with clinical characteristics in a cross-sectional study. Results: On the six-item questionnaire, close to 20% (295/1480) of the patients reported that teeth, gums or dentures had an impact fairly often or very often on one or more items (eating, relaxing, avoiding going out, feeling self-conscious, pain or discomfort). On the single question requesting a self-assessment of oral health, 42% (628/1468) rated their oral health as fair or poor. Both common oral health-related quality of life problems and worse perceived oral health were associated with having more than eight teeth with >5 mm periodontal pockets (odds ratio = 1.45, 95% confidence interval = 1.01-2.08; and odds ratio = 2.83, 95% confidence interval = 2.08-3.84, respectively), compared with patients who had fewer than three teeth with >5 mm periodontal pockets. Conclusion: Oral health-related problems in patients presenting to a periodontal specialist office negatively affect their quality of life. If some of the findings of this study can be confirmed in other studies, it could change the perception of chronic periodontitis as a silent disease. © 2007 The Authors. Journal compilation 2007 Blackwell Munksgaard.