Inflammation & Systemic Disease

Inflammation constitutes a major mechanism for the observed link between oral disease, specifically periodontitis, and systemic diseases, although direct cause-and-effect is difficult to establish.

Strong evidence exists for a causal link between periodontal disease and diabetes.

Emerging evidence for links with other conditions including:

  • Obesity
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Pregnancy outcomes/Preterm labor
  • Oral health after menopause
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

Alexander Rath/


Mealey BL. Periodontal disease and diabetes: A two-way street. J Am Dent Assoc. 2006; 137: 26-31.

Clothier B, Stringer M, Jeffcoat MK. Periodontal disease and pregnancy outcomes: exposure, risk and intervention. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2007; 21(3): 451-66.

Janket S, Baird AE, Chuang S, Jones JA. Meta-analysis of periodontal disease and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology & Endodontics. 2003; 95(5): 559-569.

Wu T, Trevisan M, Genco RJ, Dorn JP, Falkner KL, Sempos CT. Periodontal disease and risk of cerebrovascular disease: The first national health and nutrition examination survey and its follow-up study. Arch Intern Med. 2000; 160: 2749-2755.

Al-Zahrani MS, Bissada NF, Borawskit EA. Obesity and periodontal disease in young, middle-aged, and older adults. J Periodontol. 2003; 74(5): 610-5.