The potential impact of periodontal disease on general health: a consensus view

Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 Jun;24(6):1635-43. doi: 10.1185/03007990802131215. Epub 2008 Apr 30.


Background: Evidence for a link between periodontal disease and several systemic diseases is growing rapidly. The infectious and inflammatory burden of chronic periodontitis is thought to have an important systemic impact. Current evidence suggests that periodontitis is associated with an increased likelihood of coronary heart disease and may influence the severity of diabetes.

Scope: This paper represents a UK and Ireland cross-specialty consensus review, undertaken by a group of physicians and dentists. The consensus group reviewed published evidence (PubMed search for review and original articles), focusing on the past 5 years, on the contributory role of periodontal disease to overall health. In particular, evidence relating to a role for periodontal disease in cardiovascular disease and in diabetes was considered.

Findings: Initial studies of large epidemiological data sets have sought to find links between periodontitis and systemic disease outcomes, but a causal relationship still needs to be demonstrated between periodontal disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetes through prospective studies. There is a need for prospective studies assessing the association between periodontal disease and patients at particular risk of cardiovascular events which will allow assessment of both cardiovascular disease clinical endpoints and surrogate markers of cardiovascular risk. Of note, periodontal disease is also often more severe in subjects with diabetes mellitus, a group at already increased risk for cardiovascular events.

Conclusions: While further research is needed to define the population-attributable risk of periodontal disease to both cardiovascular diseases and to diabetes control and progression, health education to encourage better oral health should be considered as part of current healthy lifestyle messages designed to reduce the increasing health burden of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Northern Ireland
  • Periodontal Diseases / complications*
  • United Kingdom