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Oral Dis. 2004 Jan;10(1):5-12.

Involvement of periodontopathic biofilm in vascular diseases.

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Department of Microbiology, Oral Health Science Center, Tokyo Dental College, Mihama-ku, Chiba, Japan.


Oral bacteria inhabit biofilms, which are firm clusters adhering in layers to surfaces and are not easily eliminated by immune responses and are resistant to antimicrobial agents. Dental plaque is one such biofilm. In the past 10 years, subgingival plaque bacteria forming biofilms have been increasingly reported to be involved in systemic diseases. A close relationship between microbial infections and vascular disease has also been reported in the past two decades. The present review discusses the significance of the ecologic characteristics of biofilms formed by periodontopathic bacteria in order to further clarify the associations between periodontal disease and systemic disease. We focus on the relationships between periodontal disease-associated bacteria forming biofilms and vascular diseases including atherosclerosis and carotid coronary stenotic artery disease, and we discuss the direct and indirect effects on vascular diseases of lipopolysaccharides as well as heat shock proteins produced by periodontopathic bacteria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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