The periodontal-cardiovascular link

Compend Contin Educ Dent. 2004 Sep;25(9):681-2, 685-92; quiz 694.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and periodontitis are common chronic conditions, and the former remains a major contributor to human mortality. Recent attention has focused on a potential link between periodontal disease and CVD. Observational studies consistently indicate that people with destructive periodontitis may be 1.3 to 2 times more likely to have CVD. This association appears to be biologically plausible, and investigations in atherosclerosis animal models demonstrate larger atheroma sizes in animals infected with the periodontal pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis, compared with control animals. Although direct intervention data on the effects of periodontal therapy on CVD risk in patients are not currently available, indirect data suggest that mechanical periodontal therapy can decrease surrogate cardiovascular markers such as serum C-reactive protein. After a recent systematic review on the periodontal-cardiovascular link, a consensus panel concluded that patients and clinicians should be informed that periodontal therapy may prevent the onset or progression of CVD.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteriosclerosis / microbiology
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Causality
  • Comorbidity
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Periodontitis / blood
  • Periodontitis / epidemiology*
  • Periodontitis / microbiology
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / isolation & purification


  • C-Reactive Protein