Inflammatory mechanisms linking periodontal diseases to cardiovascular diseases

J Periodontol. 2013 Apr;84(4 Suppl):S51-69. doi: 10.1902/jop.2013.134006.


Aims: In this article, inflammatory mechanisms that link periodontal diseases to cardiovascular diseases are reviewed.

Methods: This article is a literature review.

Results: Studies in the literature implicate a number of possible mechanisms that could be responsible for increased inflammatory responses in atheromatous lesions due to periodontal infections. These include increased systemic levels of inflammatory mediators stimulated by bacteria and their products at sites distant from the oral cavity, elevated thrombotic and hemostatic markers that promote a prothrombotic state and inflammation, cross-reactive systemic antibodies that promote inflammation and interact with the atheroma, promotion of dyslipidemia with consequent increases in pro-inflammatory lipid classes and subclasses, and common genetic susceptibility factors present in both disease leading to increased inflammatory responses.

Conclusions: Such mechanisms may be thought to act in concert to increase systemic inflammation in periodontal disease and to promote or exacerbate atherogenesis. However, proof that the increase in systemic inflammation attributable to periodontitis impacts inflammatory responses during atheroma development, thrombotic events or myocardial infarction or stroke is lacking.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Gingival Diseases
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Periodontal Diseases* / immunology
  • Periodontitis* / microbiology


  • Inflammation Mediators