Periodontal Disease, Systemic Inflammation and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Heart Lung Circ. 2018 Nov;27(11):1327-1334. doi: 10.1016/j.hlc.2018.05.102. Epub 2018 Jun 2.


Periodontal and cardiovascular disease are both major health issues. Poor oral health has long been associated with the development of systemic diseases, with the typical example being the risk of endocarditis posterior to dental procedures. Through the years, the association of periodontal disease with other non-infectious systemic diseases has been brought to attention. One of the most interesting associations is the one that exists with the development of cardiovascular disease. Many studies, including systematic reviews and meta-analyses, suggest an important association between periodontal disease and ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation and peripheral artery disease. Among the proposed mechanisms of this relationship, systemic inflammation appears to play a major role. Evidence suggests that periodontal inflammation triggers a systemic inflammatory state that, added to the damage mediated by antibodies that cross react between periodontal pathogens and components of the intimal wall, and the direct lesion of the intima by bacteria entering the circulation, promotes atheroma plaque development and progression. There are other studies that show a clear relationship between periodontal disease severity, elevations of inflammatory markers, and the presence of atherosclerosis. Here, we give a review of the available evidence supporting this association, and the possible mechanisms involved.

Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Cardiovascular disease; Periodontal disease; Systemic inflammation.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / metabolism
  • Disease Progression
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Morbidity
  • Oral Health*
  • Periodontal Diseases / complications*
  • Periodontal Diseases / metabolism
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers