Perio Disease & Endothelial Function Have Researchers Seeing Red

In a study entitled Biomarkers of cardiovascular disease are increased in untreated chronic periodontitis: a case control studypublished in the Australian Dental Journal, researchers examined the relationship between endothelial function, inflammatory biomarkers, and periodontal pathogens.

Key points of this study:

  • MPO levels of patients with severe periodontitis were significantly elevated.
  • Red complex bacteria (e.g. Treponema denticolaPorphyromonas gingivalis and Tannerella forsythia) – already associated with systemic vascular events – showed up more in patients with severe periodontitis.
  • Once again, periodontal disease and the bacteria that cause it were shown to aid in the progression of the inflammatory response, increasing risk for cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

This study further verifies what research has been telling us for years: Red complex bacteria play a particularly pathogenic role in cardiovascular disease – possibly due to their ability to modify the immune response.