Oral Infections and Cardiovascular Disease

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This book provides a comprehensive overview of current knowledge about research in oral infections and their association with cardiovascular diseases. Several epidemiological, clinical and other ...
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Linking the Evidence of Oral Infections as a Causal Factor for Cardiovascular Diseases

Pp. 101-110 (10)

Lise L. Haheim

Abstract

Normal oral bacteria have an important function in the mouth in being a barrier towards unwanted microbes, they exhibit immunological properties, and saliva has a buffering capacity against their acid production in caries activity. Repressed normal flora causes overgrowth of pathogens. Unless adequately controlled an overload of bacteria will arise with the result of infections. Oral bacteria and their infection products produce a reaction by the immune system in the defense of potential harm from infections. It is apparent that many factors are involved as oral bacteria and their bacterial products have no function in the circulatory system. Chronic periodontitis and dental infections are to a great extent lifestyle diseases and as such are preventable in most instances. Coronary heart disease is also considered to be greatly influenced by lifestyle factors and is also acknowledged to be a disease of inflammation and oxidation. The possible outcomes of cardiovascular disease considered are atherosclerosis, thrombosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, aneurysm of the aorta, and heart valve disease. This review examines the relations between the two diseases whether these are strong enough to establish oral infections as an independent risk factor for CVD. Bridging the knowledge gap between these disease entities is important and this research needs to be further developed.

Affiliation:

Institute of Oral Biology, Dental Faculty, and Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Medical Faculty, University. of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.