Evaluating periodontal risk for patients at risk of or suffering from atherosclerosis: recent biological hypotheses and therapeutic consequences

Arch Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 May;104(5):352-8. doi: 10.1016/j.acvd.2011.02.002. Epub 2011 May 11.


Cardiovascular disease, such as atherosclerosis, is the main cause of mortality in developed countries. Most atherosclerosis risk factors have been identified and are treated, improving patient cardiovascular status and reducing mortality, but some remain unknown. Periodontal disease is generally defined as inflammatory disease initiated by accumulation of dental bacterial plaque, leading to the destruction of tissues that support the teeth. Severe forms have a high prevalence (15% of the population) and are associated with the presence of virulent pathogens such as Porphyromonas gingivalis. Epidemiological studies have shown that severe periodontal disease negatively influences cardiovascular status. The aim of this paper was to present a synthesis of the most recent biological data related to the link between periodontal and cardiovascular disease. The potential biological mechanisms involved in these two inflammatory diseases (bacteriological theory, inflammatory theory, immune theory) were developed. According to the observed positive effects of periodontal treatment on systemic conditions, the benefit of a reinforced collaboration between dentists and cardiologists was discussed, especially for patients at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology*
  • Atherosclerosis / immunology
  • Atherosclerosis / microbiology
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / immunology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / microbiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Periodontal Diseases / complications*
  • Periodontal Diseases / immunology
  • Periodontal Diseases / microbiology
  • Periodontal Diseases / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors


  • Inflammation Mediators