The potential impact of periodontal disease on general health: a consensus view

RC Williams, Anthony Barnett, N Claffey, M Davis, R Gadsby, M Kellett, Gregory Lip, S Thackray

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

113 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Evidence for a link between periodontal disease and several systemic diseases is growing rapidly. The infectious and inflammatory burden of chronic periodontitis is thought to have an important systemic impact. Current evidence suggests that periodontitis is associated with an increased likelihood of coronary heart disease and may influence the severity of diabetes. Scope: This paper represents a UK and Ireland cross-specialty consensus review, undertaken by a group of physicians and dentists. The consensus group reviewed published evidence (PubMed search for review and original articles), focusing on the past 5 years, on the contributory role of periodontal disease to overall health. In particular, evidence relating to a role for periodontal disease in cardiovascular disease and in diabetes was considered. Findings: Initial studies of large epidemiological data sets have sought to find links between periodontitis and systemic disease outcomes, but a causal relationship still needs to be demonstrated between periodontal disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetes through prospective studies. There is a need for prospective studies assessing the association between periodontal disease and patients at particular risk of cardiovascular events which will allow assessment of both cardiovascular disease clinical endpoints and surrogate markers of cardiovascular risk. Of note, periodontal disease is also often more severe in subjects with diabetes mellitus, a group at already increased risk for cardiovascular events. Conclusions: While further research is needed to define the population-attributable risk of periodontal disease to both cardiovascular diseases and to diabetes control and progression, health education to encourage better oral health should be considered as part of current healthy lifestyle messages designed to reduce the increasing health burden of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1635-1643
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Medical Research and Opinion
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008


  • oral health
  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes
  • periodontal disease


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