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Ther Umsch. 2008 Feb;65(2):121-6.

[Periodontitis and cardiovascular disease].

[Article in German]

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Zahnmedizinische Kliniken, Parodontologie und Brückenprothetik, Abt. Orale Mikrobiologie, Universität Bern.


The prevalence of periodontitis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) is high. A mixed infectious biofilm etiology of periodontitis is known but not fully established in CVD. Cofactors; smoking habits, stress, ethnicity, genetics, socioeconomics and age contribute to both diseases. The objectives of this report are to summarize factors in regards to CVD and periodontitis that are clinically relevant. The hypothesis behind a relationship between the two conditions can be founded in (I) shared infections etiology, (II) shared inflammatory response, (III) epidemiological and case-control studies, and (IV) periodontal studies demonstrating improvements of CVD markers. Streptococcus species in the S. mitis group, and S. anginosus group have been identified in periodontitis and are known as pathogens in endocarditis possibly transported from the oral cavity to the heart through bacteremia during dental therapies, and tooth brushing. Other periodontal bacteria such as Porphyromonas gingivalis, Fusobacterium nucleatum and Parvimonas micra are beta-lactamase producing and may contribute to antibiotic resistance (extended spectrum beta-lactamases). Other bacteria in CVD and periodontitis include Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Chlamydia pneumoniae and P. gingivalis lipopolyysaccharide capsels share homology and induce heat-shock protein activity and a cascade of proinflammatory cytokines. Associations between periodontitis and CVD have been presented in many studies when controlling for confounders. Other studies have demonstrated that periodontal therapies increase brachial artery flow rate and reduce serum inflammatory cytokine levels. Thus, physicians caring for subjects at CVD risk should consult with dentists/periodontists. Dentists must improve their medical knowledge and also learn to consult with physicians when treating patients at CVD risk.

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