Improved periodontal health and cardiovascular risk


Dr Pauline Ford
School of Dentistry
The University of Queensland
200 Turbot Street
Brisbane QLD 4000


Background:  Previous studies have demonstrated variable effects on systemic inflammatory and immune responses following improved periodontal health. This study examined changes in serum levels of the inflammatory mediators IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and sICAM-1, and antibodies to Porphyromonas gingivalis, human heat shock protein (hHSP) 60 and P. gingivalis GroEL following improvement in periodontal health in high cardiovascular (CV) risk and low CV-risk patients.

Methods:  Patients retrospectively selected from a longitudinal study, had undergone yearly periodontal examinations and peripheral blood collections. They had demonstrated a quantifiable improvement in periodontal health (>60% reduction in number of sites with probing depth ≥4 mm from the baseline visit) and could be classified as either high CV-risk (≥6 classical risk factors, n = 13) or low CV-risk (≤1 classical risk factor, n = 14). Serum levels of the cytokines and antibodies were measured using ELISA.

Results:  For sICAM-1 and anti-P. gingivalis GroEL and anti-hHSP60 antibodies, most patients recorded decreased levels. Reductions in serum sICAM-1 levels were more notable in low CV-risk patients (p = 0.006); and reductions in levels of anti-P. gingivalis GroEL and anti-hHSP60 antibodies (p = 0.001 and 0.009 respectively) were more notable in high CV-risk patients.

Conclusions:  This study found that subsequent to improved periodontal health, the anti-HSP (HSP60 and GroEL) antibody response was reduced, particularly for high CV-risk patients. sICAM-1 levels were also lowered, more so for low CV-risk patients.