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The effect of chronic periodontitis on the development of atherosclerosis: review of the literature

Iwona Niedzielska, Tomasz Janic, Szymon Cierpka, Elzbieta Swietochowska

Med Sci Monit 2008; 14(7): RA103-106

ID: 863657

Although research has demonstrated that odontogenic foci of infection can be dangerous to the function of other organs, a direct relationship between orofacial infections and systemic health has not been proved. Recently, bacterial and viral organisms involved in chronic inflammatory processes have also been regarded as risk factors for atherosclerosis. Periodontitis is one of the most common chronic bacterial infections. One of the first researchers to indicate a relationship between orofacial infections and atherosclerosis were Mattila et al. In 1989 they published a paper which identified periodontal disease as an independent predictor of the risk of myocardial infarction. For over ten years several authors have discussed the correlation between oral infections, and periodontal disease in particular, and the occurrence of coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, and ischemic stroke. A review of the knowledge of the effects of periodontal disease on the development of atheromatous plaque is presented here. No scientific evidence was found to prove a direct association between odontogenic infections and atherosclerosis. However, such a relationship is probable in the light of the reviewed articles. Reliable markers should be sought which could accurately indicate the effect of periodontal disease on the condition of the arteries.

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