A systematic review and meta-analyses on C-reactive protein in relation to periodontitis

J Clin Periodontol. 2008 Apr;35(4):277-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2007.01173.x. Epub 2008 Feb 20.


Aim: Elevated plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) is regarded as a risk predictor for cardiovascular diseases. This systematic review explored the robustness of observations that CRP is elevated in periodontitis. Similarly, the effect of periodontal therapy on CRP levels was investigated.

Material and methods: Selection of publications was based on: (1) cross-sectional (case-control) studies; (2) longitudinal (treatment) studies; (3) high-sensitivity CRP measurement; (4) median and/or mean (+/-SD) values presented; and (5) subjects with no systemic disorders.

Results: Screening of the initially 448 identified studies and reference checking resulted in 18 suitable papers. The majority of the studies showed that CRP levels are higher in patients than in controls. Often, studies showed that patients had CRP levels >2.1 mg/l. A meta-analysis of 10 cross-sectional studies showed that the weighted mean difference (WMD) of CRP between patients and controls was 1.56 mg/l (p<0.00001). Evidence from available treatment studies (n=6) showed lower levels of CRP after periodontal therapy. Eligible treatment studies in a meta-analysis demonstrated a WMD of reductions of CRP after therapy of 0.50 mg/L (95% CI 0.08-0.93) (p=0.02).

Conclusions: There is strong evidence from cross-sectional studies that plasma CRP in periodontitis is elevated compared with controls. There is modest evidence on the effect of periodontal therapy in lowering the levels of CRP.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dental Scaling
  • Humans
  • Periodontitis / blood*
  • Periodontitis / therapy


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • C-Reactive Protein