C-reactive protein - a predictor of heart disease - is elevated in patients with periodontal disease

September 20, 2001

CHICAGO - Elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) explain one reason why periodontal disease could be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, according to a new study in the Journal of Periodontology.

Periodontal disease may cause oral bacteria to enter the bloodstream and trigger the liver to make proteins such as CRP that inflame arteries and clot blood, which can lead to heart attacks. CRP levels identify those patients whose inflammations systems respond most actively to stimuli.

"Until intervention studies are completed, we will not know with certainty whether periodontal disease really can cause heart disease. In the meantime, this study provides one more explanation for why it is very plausible that an infection in the mouth could lead to problems with the heart," said Ernesto De Nardin, Ph.D., one of the study's researchers.

The study carried out at the University at Buffalo, compared CRP levels in 59 people with moderate and 50 people with advanced periodontal disease to 65 periodontally healthy patients. Adjustments were made for other factors that are known to be associated with elevated levels of CRP such as age, body mass index, smoking and blood lipids.

Researchers found that 25 percent of the 174 total subjects had CRP concentrations that have been associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular problems. However, among the 50 people with advanced periodontal disease, the percentage increased to 38. Furthermore, they found that those patients infected with bacteria that cause periodontal disease had the highest levels of C-reactive protein.

"As researchers continue to sort out the link between periodontal disease and heart disease, my advice to my patients remains the same," said Michael McGuire, D.D.S., president of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP). "Do not take your gum health for granted or you may have more to lose than just your teeth."

A referral to a periodontist or a free brochure titled Ask Your Periodontist About Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease is available by calling 1-800-FLOSS-EM or by visiting the AAP's Web site at http://www.perio.org
-end-
The American Academy of Periodontology is a 7,500-member association of dental professionals specializing in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth and in the placement and maintenance of dental implants. Periodontics is one of nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association.

American Academy of Periodontology

Related Heart Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Cellular pathway of genetic heart disease similar to neurodegenerative disease
Research on a genetic heart disease has uncovered a new and unexpected mechanism for heart failure.

Mechanism linking gum disease to heart disease, other inflammatory conditions discovered
The link between periodontal (gum) disease and other inflammatory conditions such as heart disease and diabetes has long been established, but the mechanism behind that association has, until now, remained a mystery.

New 'atlas' of human heart cells first step toward precision treatments for heart disease
Scientists have for the first time documented all of the different cell types and genes expressed in the healthy human heart, in research published in the journal Nature.

With a heavy heart: How men and women develop heart disease differently
A new study by researchers from McGill University has uncovered that minerals causing aortic heart valve blockage in men and women are different, a discovery that could change how heart disease is diagnosed and treated.

Heart-healthy diets are naturally low in dietary cholesterol and can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
Eating a heart-healthy dietary pattern rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, vegetable oils and nuts, which is also limits salt, red and processed meats, refined-carbohydrates and added sugars, is relatively low in dietary cholesterol and supports healthy levels of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol.

Pacemakers can improve heart function in patients with chemotherapy-induced heart disease
Research has shown that treating chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy with commercially available cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) delivered through a surgically implanted defibrillator or pacemaker can significantly improve patient outcomes.

Arsenic in drinking water may change heart structure raising risk of heart disease
Drinking water that is contaminated with arsenic may lead to thickening of the heart's main pumping chamber in young adults, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

New health calculator can help predict heart disease risk, estimate heart age
A new online health calculator can help people determine their risk of heart disease, as well as their heart age, accounting for sociodemographic factors such as ethnicity, sense of belonging and education, as well as health status and lifestyle behaviors.

Wide variation in rate of death between VA hospitals for patients with heart disease, heart failure
Death rates for veterans with ischemic heart disease and chronic heart failure varied widely across the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system from 2010 to 2014, which could suggest differences in the quality of cardiovascular health care provided by VA medical centers.

Heart failure: The Alzheimer's disease of the heart?
Similar to how protein clumps build up in the brain in people with some neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, protein clumps appear to accumulate in the diseased hearts of mice and people with heart failure, according to a team led by Johns Hopkins University researchers.

Read More: Heart Disease News and Heart Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.