Abstract / Description: 

Abstract During the last two decades, there has been an increasing interest in the impact of oral health on atherosclerosis and subsequent cardiovascular disease (CVD). The advent of the inflammation paradigm in coronary pathogenesis stimulated research in chronic infections caused by a variety of micro-organismsósuch as Chlamydia pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, and cytomegalovirusóas well as dental pathogens, since these chronic infections are thought to be involved in the etiopathogenesis of CVD by releasing cytokines and other pro-inflammatory mediators (e.g., C-reactive protein [CRP], tumor necrosis factor [TNF-?]) that may initiate a cascade of biochemical reactions and cause endothelial damage and facilitate cholesterol plaque attachment. Yet, due to the multi-factorial nature of dental infection and CVD, confirming a causal association is difficult, and the published results are conflicting. The main deficit in the majority of these studies has been the inadequate control of numerous confounding factors, leading to an overestimation and the imprecise measurement of the predictor or overadjustment of the confounding variables, resulting in underestimation of the risks. A meta-analysis of prospective and retrospective follow-up studies has shown that periodontal disease may increase the risk of CVD by approximately 20% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08ñ1.32). Similarly, the reported risk ratio between periodontal disease and stroke is even stronger, varying from 2.85 (CI 1.78ñ4.56) to 1.74 (CI 1.08ñ2.81). The association between peripheral vascular disease and oral health parameters has been explored in only two studies, and the resultant relative risks among individuals with periodontitis were 1.41 (CI 1.12ñ1.77) and 2.27 (CI 1.32ñ3.90), respectively. Overall, it appears that periodontal disease may indeed contribute to the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, although the statistical effect size is small. Keywords Oral health, periodontitis, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease

eCardio Hub Collection
Oral Health
Jukka H. Meurman, Mariano Sanz, Sok-Ja Janket