Periodontal Inflammation and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2020 Jun 8;22(7):28. doi: 10.1007/s11883-020-00848-6.


Purpose of review: The role of oral bacteremia and periodontal inflammation driving atherosclerosis is still under investigation. This review article highlights the role of periodontal inflammation and oral microorganisms in the development and progression of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases.

Recent findings: Association between periodontal and cardiovascular diseases has been well characterized, but causal correlation is yet to be established. For instance, untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. Periodontal disease has been associated with several systemic diseases one of which is atherosclerosis. One possible association that was documented in literature is that poor oral hygiene leads to bacteremia, which in turn can cause bacterial growth over atherosclerotic coronary artery plaques and possibly worsen coronary artery disease. It is crucial that clinicians understand the association between periodontal and cardiovascular disease. A comprehensive treatment for periodontitis and re-establishment of a healthy periodontium can help in reduction of overall inflammation in the body. This may play an important role in prevention of cardiovascular disease, though future research is needed to establish this.

Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Inflammation; Periodontitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Disease Progression
  • Gram-Negative Anaerobic Bacteria*
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / epidemiology*
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Periodontitis / drug therapy
  • Periodontitis / epidemiology*
  • Periodontitis / microbiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents