Oral health and cardiovascular disease

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: In the past two decades studies have indicated that oral health might be associated with the prevalence for cardiovascular disease (CVD), although the biological link still remains unknown. Bacteria and inflammatory mediators causing periodontal disease have also been suggested to influence the progression of atherosclerosis.The aims of this thesis were to study oral inflammation and associations between different oral health parameters and CVD. Inflammatory mediators such as interleukin-1 (IL-1) as well as bone resorption activity (BRA) were significantly higher in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) from sites with periodontal disease compared to healthy sites. Treatment resulted in a reduction of BRA as well as the levels of IL-1 for most of the diseased pockets. The levels of IL-1 were not correlated to the amount of BRA.Number of teeth (NT) was consistently associated to CVD and was the only oral health parameter that related to all-cause mortality and mortality in CVD in a dose-dependent manner. Subjects with <10 teeth had a 7-fold increase risk for mortality in coronary heart disease compared to those with >25 teeth. Furthermore, NT was also significantly associated to the levels of leukocytes and to the metabolic syndrome, which consists of a combination of cardiovascular risk factors.Other investigated oral health parameters, such as severity of periodontal disease, number of deepened pockets, and bleeding on probing, were not related to CVD in a consistent way. Oral health parameters as well as myocardial infarction (MI) were related to serum antibody levels against Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg), indicating that Pg might be a link between oral health and MI.In conclusion, treatment reduced the increased levels of IL-1 and BRA in GCF from sites with periodontal disease. Oral health was associated to CVD with number of teeth being the only oral health parameter that consistently was associated to CVD. Serum antibody levels against P. gingivalis were related to myocardial infarction (MI) as well as to oral health parameters, suggesting that this bacteria could be a link between oral health and CVD.