Oral-Systemic Research

“Periodontal Disease and Systemic Conditions: A Bidirectional Relationship”

Originally published in the dental journal Odontology this study explores the finding that that oral health may be indicative of systemic health. The authors of this manuscript also acknowledge that the gap between allopathic medicine and dental medicine is quickly closing, due to significant findings supporting the association between periodontal disease and systemic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and osteoporosis.

  • Most researchers have found statistically significant connections between systemic conditions and moderate to severe periodontal disease.
  • Simple oral healthcare tasks, such as brushing and flossing, and limiting other risk factors, such as smoking, may assist in initially decreasing periodontal pockets and periodontal bacterial flora, consequently decreasing the likelihood of the progression of periodontal disease in causing detrimental systemic diseases

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Heart Attacks & Strokes

“High-Risk Periodontal Pathogens Contribute to the Pathogenesis of Atherosclerosis” 

Published in the world renown Postgraduate Medical Journal and the prestigious British Medical Journal, this peer-reviewed study clearly states, “Periodontal disease due to high risk pathogens must be considered a contributory cause of arterial disease.

  • Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death and disability in North America.
  • Periodontal disease is medical condition that only dentists can diagnose and treat.

Download the study.

“Bacterial Signatures in Thrombus Aspirates of Patients with Myocardial Infarction”

Published in Circulation, this paper aimed to measure bacterial DNA in thrombus aspirates of patients with ST-segment–elevation myocardial infarction and to check for a possible association between bacteria findings and oral pathology in the same cohort.

The article concluded that dental infection and oral bacteria, especially viridans streptococci, may be associated with the development of acute coronary thrombosis. Download the PDF.

“Periodontitis and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease”

The aim of this editor’s consensus published in The American Journal of Cardiology and Journal of Periodontology was to provide health professionals, especially cardiologists and periodontists, a better understanding of the link between atherosclerotic CVD and periodontitis and, based on current information, an approach to reducing the risk for primary and secondary atherosclerotic CVD events in patients with periodontitis. Download this article.

“Detection of Oral Bacteria in Cardiovascular Specimens”

Oral bacteria, including cariogenic and periodontal pathogens, are thought to be etiological factors in the development of cardiovascular diseases. To define this relationship, the authors of this paper published in Oral Microbiology and Immunology, analyzed the distribution of oral bacterial species in cardiovascular specimens.

Their conclusion was that the research suggests that specific oral bacterial species, such as S. mutans and A. actinomycetemcomitans, are related to bacteremia and may be etiologic factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases. Download the PDF of this paper.

“Quantitative Detection of Periodontopathic Bacteria in Atherosclerotic Plaques from Coronary Arteries”

Oral pathogens, including periodontopathic bacteria, are thought to be aetiological factors in the development of cardiovascular disease. In this study, published in The Journal of Medical Microbiology, the presence of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Fusobacterium nucleatum–periodonticum–simiae group, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, Prevotella nigrescens and Tannerella forsythia in atheromatous plaques from coronary arteries was determined by real-time PCR.

According to the authors, a significant number of periodontopathic bacterial DNA species in atherosclerotic tissue samples from patients with periodontitis suggests that the presence of these micro-organisms in coronary lesions is not coincidental and that they may in fact contribute to the development of vascular diseases. Download the study.


“Oral Pathogen Found in Pancreatic Cancer Tissue”

A recent study in the medical journal Oncotarget revealed that a prominent oral pathogen (Fusobacterium nucleatum) was detected in cancerous pancreatic tissue. The presence of this pathogen was significantly associated with a worse prognosis for survival:

  • Highly aggressive, pancreatic cancer kills 94% of its victims within 5 years of diagnosis
  • Pancreatic Cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.

Download the study.

“Periodontal Disease and Breast Cancer: Prospective Cohort Study of Postmenopausal Women”

The American Association for Cancer Research published the findings of a Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, a prospective cohort of postmenopausal women, in which 73,737 women without previous breast cancer was examined after mean follow-up of 6.7 years. Incident, primary, invasive breast tumors were verified by physician adjudication. Periodontal disease was by self-report.

Periodontal disease, a common chronic inflammatory disorder, was associated with increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, particularly among former smokers who quit in the past 20 years. Understanding a possible role of the oral microbiome in breast carcinogenesis could impact prevention.  Download the study.

“Periodontal Pathogens Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium Nucleatum Promote Tumor Progression in an Oral-Specific Chemical Carcinogenesis Model”

Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a lethal disease whose incidence is increasing. Epidemiologic studies demonstrate an association between periodontitis and oral cancer. Here. utilizing a newly-established murine model of periodontitis-associated oral tumorigenesis, the authors report that chronic bacterial infection promotes OSCC. Their results indicate that periodontal pathogens P. gingivalis and F. nucleatum stimulate tumorigenesis via direct interaction with oral epithelial cells through Toll-like receptors. Furthermore, oral pathogens stimulate human OSCC proliferation and induce expression of key molecules implicated in tumorigenesis.

These findings represent the first demonstration of a mechanistic role for oral bacteria in chemically induced OSCC tumorigenesis. These results are highly relevant for the design of effective prevention and treatment strategies for OSCC. Download this research.

“Prolonged and Repetitive Exposure to Porphyromonas Gingivalis Increases Aggressiveness of Oral Cancer Cells by Promoting Acquisition of Cancer Stem Cell Properties”

Periodontitis is the most common chronic inflammatory condition occurring in the human oral cavity, but our knowledge on its contribution to oral cancer is rather limited. To define crosstalk between chronic periodontitis and oral cancer, we investigated whether Porphyromonas gingivalis, a major pathogen of chronic periodontitis, plays a role in oral cancer progression.

This is the first report demonstrating that P. gingivalis can increase the aggressiveness of oral cancer. Download this report.

Alzheimer’s Disease

“Alzheimer’s Disease – a Neurospirochetosis: Analysis of the Evidence Following Koch’s and Hill’s Criteria”

It is established that chronic spirochetal infection can cause slowly progressive dementia, brain atrophy and amyloid deposition in late neurosyphilis. Recently it has been suggested that various types of spirochetes, in an analogous way to Treponema pallidum, could cause dementia and may be involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease.

When neutral techniques recognizing all types of spirochetes were used, or the highly prevalent periodontal pathogen Treponemas were analyzed, spirochetes were observed in the brain in more than 90% of AD cases. Download this paper.

Preterm Birth

“Relationship between Periodontal Diseases and Preterm Birth: Recent Epidemiological and Biological Data” 

The purpose of this review, published in The Journal of Pregnancy, is to present the principal results of epidemiological, biological, and interventional studies on the link between periodontal diseases and preterm birth. The conclusions of this work underline the importance for the physician/obstetrician to identify women at risk for preterm birth and to address these patients to dentist for periodontal examination and treatment to limit adverse pregnancy outcomes.

The conclusions states: Periodontal diseases appear to be a potential risk factor for preterm birth. As well as other modifiable risk factors, these diseases must be taken in charge. Cooperation between obstetricians or general practitioners and periodontists should be developed. The promotion of the early detection and treatments of periodontal disease in young women before and during pregnancy will be beneficial especially for women at risk. Read the full review.

“Transmission of an Uncultivated Bergeyella Strain from the Oral Cavity to Amniotic Fluid in a Case of Preterm Birth”

Intrauterine infection is a recognized cause of preterm birth. The infectious organisms are believed to originate primarily from the vaginal tract and secondarily from other parts of the body. It is plausible that microbes in the oral cavity can be transmitted to the pregnant uterus.

In this study, published in The Journal of Clinical Microbiology, amniotic fluids of 34 pregnant women were examined by PCR. In one instance, the Bergeyella strain identified in the patient’s intrauterine infection originated from the oral cavity.  This study sheds new light on the implication of oral bacteria in preterm birth. Get the PDF.