A review of C-reactive protein: A diagnostic indicator in periodontal medicine

J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2012 Aug;4(Suppl 2):S422-6. doi: 10.4103/0975-7406.100318.


Periodontitis is a local inflammatory process mediating the destruction of periodontal tissues, triggered by bacterial insult. Recent evidence suggests the presence of chronic inflammatory periodontal disease may significantly affect systemic health conditions such as coronary heart disease, stroke, or adverse pregnancy outcome. C-reactive protein (CRP) is an acute phase protein which reflects a measure of the acute phase response. CRP is used as one of the markers of choice in monitoring the acute phase response because it increases to a relatively high concentration compared to basal concentration. CRP has been shown to predict cardiovascular (CV) mortality in recent studies, and elevated CRP levels have been observed in middle-aged patients with periodontitis. Combination of chronic infections like periodontitis with elevated CRP is associated with higher chronic heart diseases. The recognition of the relationship between periodontal diseases and atherosclerotic events is relatively recent and mostly based on the inflammatory hypothesis of atherosclerosis. Periodontal disease is one of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and possibly one of its causes. Hence, even associations of modest magnitude have a large impact. The cost to the society directly attributable to atherosclerotic sequelae is very large. Periodontitis is treatable; moreover, it is preventable. Experimental conformation of this shows that another widely prevalent and preventable contributor to the burden of cardiovascular disease would be added to the options available of the clinicians and public health practitioners for the control of the epidemic of cardiovascular disease.

Keywords: Acute phase reactants; C-reactive protein; cardiovascular disease; periodontal disease.