Background: Periodontitis has been associated with a moderate systemic inflammatory response. Successful periodontal therapy could decrease serum inflammatory parameters. The aim of this report was to explore the outcomes of periodontal therapy in terms of changes in C-reactive protein (CRP)-associated cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk as defined in a recent American Heart Association (AHA) consensus conference.
Methods: Ninety-four systemically healthy subjects suffering from severe generalized periodontitis received standard non-surgical periodontal therapy. Periodontal parameters and serum inflammatory responses [interleukin-6 (IL-6) and CRP] were monitored 2 and 6 months after therapy.
Results: At baseline, subjects with more severe and widespread periodontitis had a higher chance of having high CRP-associated CVD risk (OR 5.6, 95% CI 1.2–27.4). Age and body mass index were also significant in the analysis. After therapy, a significant decrease in number of subjects associated with a medium and high CRP-associated risk was observed (p < 0.001 χ2), with 40 of 94 subjects displaying a decrease in their class of risk. Patients who had a better oral response to periodontal therapy were also more likely to have decreased their inflammatory risk category (OR 4.8, 95% CI 1.4–15.8) after correcting for age, gender, ethnicity and cigarette smoking.
Conclusions: This study indicated that periodontitis may add to the inflammatory burden of the individual and may result in increased levels of cardiovascular risk based on serum CRP concentrations. These observations will need to be confirmed in a definitive trial. Given the high prevalence of periodontitis in the population, these data would caution physicians to be aware of the possible oral source of an increased inflammatory burden.