Cardiovascular diseases and periodontology

J Clin Periodontol. 2003 Apr;30(4):279-92. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-051x.2003.00291.x.


Background: Cardiovascular diseases represent a widespread heterogeneous group of conditions that have significant morbidity and mortality. The various diseases and their treatments can have an impact upon the periodontium and the delivery of periodontal care.

Aim: In this paper we consider three main topics and explore their relationship to the periodontist and the provision of periodontal treatment.

Method: The areas reviewed include the effect of cardiovascular drugs on the periodontium and management of patients with periodontal diseases; the risk of infective endocarditis arising from periodontal procedures; the inter-relationship between periodontal disease and coronary artery disease.

Results and conclusions: Calcium-channel blockers and beta-adrenoceptor blockers cause gingival overgrowth and tooth demineralisation, respectively. Evidence suggests that stopping anticoagulant therapy prior to periodontal procedures is putting patients at a greater risk of thromboembolic disorders compared to the risk of prolonged bleeding. The relationship between dentistry and infective endocarditis remains a controversial issue. It would appear that spontaneous bacteraemia arising from a patient's oral hygiene practices is more likely to be the cause of endocarditis than one-off periodontal procedures. The efficacy of antibiotic prophylaxis is uncertain (and unlikely to be proven), and the risk of death from penicillin appears to be greater than the risk of death arising from infective endocarditis. Finally, the association between periodontal disease and coronary artery disease has been explored and there seem to be many issues with respect to data handling interpretation. Many putative mechanisms have been suggested; however, these only further highlight the need for intervention studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteremia / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Coronary Disease / complications
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / etiology
  • Humans
  • Periodontal Diseases / chemically induced
  • Periodontal Diseases / complications*
  • Periodontal Diseases / therapy
  • Periodontium / drug effects
  • Risk Factors


  • Cardiovascular Agents