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J Periodontol. 2005 Nov;76(11 Suppl):2085-8.

Dental infections and cardiovascular diseases: a review.

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Helsinki University Central Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases, Helsinki, Finland.


Accumulating evidence suggests that chronic infections, such as periodontitis, are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The mechanisms behind the association are not known. Like herpes viruses and Chlamydia pneumoniae, periodontal pathogens cause atherosclerosis in experimental animals and have been found in human atherosclerotic lesions. Higher concentrations of total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides and lower concentrations of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol have been observed in individuals with periodontitis before periodontal treatment. Periodontitis also induces a peripheral inflammatory and immune response, reflected in elevated concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) and IgA-class antibodies to periodontal pathogens. The prevalence of CVD seems to be highest in those individuals in whom periodontitis coexists with elevated CRP levels. This may indicate that periodontitis is a CVD risk factor in individuals who react to the infection with a systemic inflammatory and immune response. This may be due to genetic reasons and may also apply to other chronic low-grade infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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