Background: Atherosclerosis is a multifactorial inflammatory disease of the cardiovascular
system. It has been suggested that periodontitis, an infectious disease of oral cavity caused by gramnegative
anaerobic bacteria, could be linked to atherosclerosis.
Objective: The objective of this systematic review was to assess the evidence between the association of
periodontitis and atherosclerosis in adults.
Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in 7 databases up to January 2017, according to
the Preferential Reports for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Studies in
humans with atherosclerosis were considered eligible when considering a group exposed to periodontitis
and a control group (absence of periodontitis), in which the primary outcome was the association between
the 2 diseases (atherosclerosis and periodontitis). The synthesis of the qualitative studies included
was evaluated using previously validated checklist for assessing the risk of bias.
Results: Among the 2138 studies found, 4 observational studies met the eligibility criteria and were
included in the qualitative synthesis. All articles were considered adequate, presenting consistent and
valid information. The results of the selected studies show the expected effects, being considered as low
risk of bias.
Conclusion: The available evidence indicates an association between the 2 diseases, with elevated
levels of inflammatory markers, mainly C-reactive protein and interleukin 6.