Many epidemiological studies have investigated the relationship between periodontal disease (PD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD), but their results are heterogeneous. This review article is designed to update the potential association, that forms the basis of understanding for a (causal) role for PD to cardiovascular events; as reported by various observational (case-control, cohort, cross-sectional) studies, epidemiological and interventional studies, not considering the other number of systemic health outcomes like cerebrovascular disease, pregnancy complications, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus complications, osteoporosis, etc. A brief overview has been included for atherosclerosis (ATH), its pathophysiology and the association of periodontal infections as a risk factor for causing ATH, which seems to be a rational one; as development of ATH involves a chronic low-grade inflammation and moreover, it has long been set up prior to development of ischemic heart disease and thus provides potential contributing mechanisms that ATH may contribute singly or in concert with other risk factors to develop ischemic heart disease. This article goes on to discuss the correlation of evidence that is gathered from many scientific studies showing either strong, modest, weak or even no links along with their critical analyses. Finally, this article summarizes the present status of the links that possibly exist between PD and its role as a risk factor in triggering cardiovascular events, in the fairly long journey for the last two decades.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis; coronary artery disease; periodontitis; risk factor; systematic review.