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Oral health

September 2008

Diabetes mellitus and inflammatory periodontal diseases.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Periodontal diseases are inflammatory conditions that were once thought to have manifestations localized to the oral cavity alone, and were therefore considered the concern of only dentists and other oral health professionals. Emerging evidence has changed this view and now suggests that periodontal diseases may play a role in numerous conditions that impact systemic well being, including diabetes mellitus. This review examines the relationships that exist between periodontal diseases and diabetes mellitus, with a focus on potential common pathophysiologic pathways including those associated with inflammation, altered host responses, and insulin resistance. RECENT FINDINGS: Periodontal inflammation is associated with an elevated systemic inflammatory state and an increased risk of major cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction and stroke, adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preeclampsia, low birth weight and preterm birth, and altered glycemic control in people with diabetes. Intervention trials suggest that periodontal therapy, which decreases the intraoral bacterial bioburden and reduces periodontal inflammation, can have a significant impact on systemic inflammatory status. Evidence suggests that periodontal therapy is associated with improved glycemic control in many patients with both diabetes and periodontal diseases. SUMMARY: Recognition of the bilateral relationships between oral and systemic health will challenge physicians and dentists to work together closely in the future when managing patients with diabetes and periodontal disease.

Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2008 Apr;15(2):135-41

Association of periodontal disease and tooth loss with rheumatoid arthritis in the US population.

OBJECTIVE: To test for an association of periodontitis and tooth loss with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: The third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) is a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of noninstitutionalized civilians. We included participants aged > or = 60 years who had undergone both musculoskeletal and dental examinations. RA was defined based on American College of Rheumatology criteria. Dental examinations quantified decayed and filled surfaces, missing teeth, and periodontitis. Periodontitis was defined as at least 1 site exhibiting both attachment loss and a probing depth of > or = 4 mm. We classified dental health status as (1) no periodontitis, (2) periodontitis, or (3) edentulous (i.e., complete tooth loss). We performed multivariate multinomial logistic regression models with dental health status as the dependent and RA as the independent variables. RESULTS: The sample consisted of 4,461 participants, of whom 103 were classified as having RA. Participants with RA had more missing teeth (20 vs 16 teeth; p < 0.001), but less decay (2% vs 4%; p < 0.001) than participants without RA. After adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and smoking, subjects with RA were more likely to be edentulous [odds ratio (OR) 2.27, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.56 3.31] and have periodontitis (OR 1.82, 95% CI 1.04 3.20) compared with non-RA subjects. In participants with seropositive RA there was a stronger association with dental health status, in particular with edentulism (OR 4.5, 95% CI 1.2 17). CONCLUSION: RA may be associated with tooth loss and periodontitis.

J Rheumatol. 2008 Jan;35(1):70-6

Maternal periodontal disease, systemic inflammation, and risk for preeclampsia.

OBJECTIVE: Maternal periodontal disease, a chronic oral infectious and inflammatory disorder, is associated with an increased risk for preeclampsia. Our objective was to determine the relationship between maternal periodontal disease, maternal systemic inflammation, and the development of preeclampsia. STUDY DESIGN: A secondary analysis of data from the Oral Conditions and Pregnancy Study was performed. A cohort of healthy pregnant women enrolled at less than 26 weeks underwent an oral health examination, serum sampling, and delivery follow-up. Periodontal disease was categorized clinically as present or absent. Maternal serum was assayed for C-reactive protein by high-sensitivity enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and stratified as elevated (> or = 75th percentile) or not elevated (< 75th percentile). Preeclampsia was defined as blood pressure > 140/90 mmHg and at least 1+ proteinuria on a catheterized urine specimen. Risk ratios (RR) for preeclampsia were calculated, stratified by periodontal disease and C-reactive protein level. RESULTS: Thirty-one (4%) of 775 women with complete data developed preeclampsia. Women with CRP > or = 75th percentile were more likely than those with CRP < 75th percentile to develop preeclampsia (7% vs 3%, P < .03; RR, 95% CI 2.2, 1.1-4.4). Women with periodontal disease and CRP > or = 75th percentile were at increased risk for preeclampsia (adjusted RR 5.8, 1.2-26.9), compared to women without periodontal disease and either CRP < 75th or > or = 75th percentile. CONCLUSION: Maternal periodontal disease with systemic inflammation as measured by C-reactive protein is associated with an increased risk for preeclampsia.

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Apr;198(4):389.e1-5

Rheumatoid arthritis, periodontal disease and coronary artery disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), periodontal disease (PD), and coronary artery disease (CAD) are common chronic inflammatory diseases. RA is associated with accelerated vascular risk resulting in an increased prevalence of CAD with attendant early mortality and excess morbidity. RA and PD have a common pathobiology. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to evaluate the association between RA, PD, and CAD and the influence of systemic inflammatory factors. A total of 100 active RA patients of which 50 had established CAD and 50 had no CAD were assessed for PD. All subjects underwent a clinical, cardiac, dental, laboratory, and radiological evaluation. Blood samples were obtained, and the level of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), total white blood counts (WBC), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), fibrinogen and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha, total cholesterol (TC), and high density lipoprotein (HDL) were assayed. The findings of this study demonstrated an association between RA, PD, and CAD. The RA patients with CAD had significantly more PD than RA patients without CAD. The inflammatory markers, hsCRP, ESR, WBC, fibrinogen, and TNF-alpha, were raised in all patients but were significantly higher in RA patients with CAD who also had PD. HDL levels were lower in RA patients with CAD when compared to RA patients without CAD. Evidence from this study shows an association between RA, PD, CAD, and systemic levels of the inflammatory mediators. The implication is that inflammation may be the central link between the chronic inflammatory, autoimmune disorders, and atherosclerosis.

Clin Rheumatol. 2008 Apr;27(4):421-7

Periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed problem in small animal veterinary medicine. In the vast majority of cases, however, there are little to no outward clinical signs of the disease process, and, therefore, therapy often comes very late in the disease course. Consequently, periodontal disease is also the most undertreated animal health problem. In addition, unchecked periodontal disease has numerous dire consequences both locally and systemically. These consequences are detailed in the article and should be utilized to educate clients and encourage compliance of therapeutic recommendations. The local consequences include oronasal fistulas, class II perio-endo lesions, pathologic fractures, ocular problems, osteomyelitis, and an increased incidence of oral cancer. Systemic diseases linked to periodontal disease include: renal, hepatic, pulmonary, and cardiac diseases; osteoporosis, adverse pregnancy effects, and diabetes mellitus. Before the discussion of consequences, this article covers the pathogenesis of periodontal disease, followed by clinical features and diagnostic tests.

Top Companion Anim Med. 2008 May;23(2):72-80

A review of the relationship between tooth loss, periodontal disease, and cancer.

Recent studies have investigated the association between periodontal disease, tooth loss, and several systemic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and preterm birth. Periodontal disease, a chronic inflammatory condition, is highly prevalent in adult populations around the world, and may be preventable. Estimates of prevalence vary between races and geographic regions, with a marked increase in the occurrence of periodontal disease with advancing age. Worldwide estimates for the prevalence of severe periodontal disease generally range from 10 to 15%. The relationship between oral health and cancer has been examined for a number of specific cancer sites. Several studies have reported associations between periodontal disease or tooth loss and risk of oral, upper gastrointestinal, lung, and pancreatic cancer in different populations. In a number of studies, these associations persisted after adjustment for major risk factors, including cigarette smoking and socioeconomic status. This review provides a summary of these findings, discusses possible biological mechanisms involved, and raises methodological issues related to studying these relationships.

Cancer Causes Control. 2008 May 14

The potential impact of periodontal disease on general health: a consensus view.

BACKGROUND: Evidence for a link between periodontal disease and several systemic diseases is growing rapidly. The infectious and inflammatory burden of chronic periodontitis is thought to have an important systemic impact. Current evidence suggests that periodontitis is associated with an increased likelihood of coronary heart disease and may influence the severity of diabetes. SCOPE: This paper represents a UK and Ireland cross-specialty consensus review, undertaken by a group of physicians and dentists. The consensus group reviewed published evidence (PubMed search for review and original articles), focusing on the past 5 years, on the contributory role of periodontal disease to overall health. In particular, evidence relating to a role for periodontal disease in cardiovascular disease and in diabetes was considered. FINDINGS: Initial studies of large epidemiological data sets have sought to find links between periodontitis and systemic disease outcomes, but a causal relationship still needs to be demonstrated between periodontal disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetes through prospective studies. There is a need for prospective studies assessing the association between periodontal disease and patients at particular risk of cardiovascular events which will allow assessment of both cardiovascular disease clinical endpoints and surrogate markers of cardiovascular risk. Of note, periodontal disease is also often more severe in subjects with diabetes mellitus, a group at already increased risk for cardiovascular events. CONCLUSIONS: While further research is needed to define the population-attributable risk of periodontal disease to both cardiovascular diseases and to diabetes control and progression, health education to encourage better oral health should be considered as part of current healthy lifestyle messages designed to reduce the increasing health burden of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 Jun;24(6):1635-43

The repressive effect of green tea ingredients on amyloid precursor protein (APP) expression in oral carcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo.

In a hamster model of N-methyl-N-benzylnitrosamine (MBN)-induced oral carcinogenesis, the incidence of buccal pouch (HBP) carcinomas in MBN-treated hamsters (17.8+/-7.5) was significantly higher than MBN-treated hamsters given tea (10.8+/-3.9) (P<0.05). Amyloid precursor protein (APP) expression was also significantly increased in MBN-induced HBP carcinomas but was significantly reduced by tea intake (P<0.0001). Furthermore, APP expression and secretion by OECM-1 oral squamous cell carcinoma cells was inhibited by a major polyphenolic ingredient of green tea, (-)-epigallocatechin gallate, in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, APP might promote oral carcinogenesis, whereas green tea ingredients might diminish it by down-regulating APP.

Cancer Lett. 2007 Jan 8;245(1-2):81-9

Periodontal infections and cardiovascular disease: the heart of the matter.

BACKGROUND: Oral infection models have emerged as useful tools to study the hypothesis that infection is a cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor. Periodontal infections are a leading culprit, with studies reporting associations between periodontal disease and CVD. The results, however, have varied, and it often is unclear what conclusions can be drawn from these data. SUMMARY: An association exists between periodontal disease and CVD. It is unknown, however, whether this relationship is causal or coincidental. Early studies predominantly used nonspecific clinical and radiographic definitions of periodontal disease as surrogates for infectious exposure. While most studies demonstrated positive associations between periodontal disease and CVD, not all studies were positive, and substantial variations in results were evident. More recent studies have enhanced the specificity of infectious exposure definitions by measuring systemic antibodies to selected periodontal pathogens or by directly measuring and quantifying oral microbiota from subgingival dental plaque. Results from these studies have shown positive associations between periodontal disease and CVD. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence continues to support an association among periodontal infections, atherosclerosis and vascular disease. Ongoing observational and focused pilot intervention studies may inform the design of large-scale clinical intervention studies. Recommending periodontal treatment for the prevention of atherosclerotic CVD is not warranted based on scientific evidence. Periodontal treatment must be recommended on the basis of the value of its benefits for the oral health of patients, recognizing that patients are not healthy without good oral health. However, the emergence of periodontal infections as a potential risk factor for CVD is leading to a convergence in oral and medical care that can only benefit the patients and public health.

J Am Dent Assoc. 2006 Oct;137 Suppl:14S-20S; quiz 38S

Low-grade inflammation in chronic infectious diseases: paradigm of periodontal infections.

Increasing evidence implicates periodontitis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the tooth-supporting structures, as a potential risk factor for increased morbidity or mortality for several systemic conditions including cardiovascular disease (atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke), pregnancy complications (spontaneous preterm birth [SPB]), and diabetes mellitus. Cross-sectional, case-control, and cohort studies indicate that periodontitis may confer two- and up to sevenfold increase in the risk for cardiovascular disease and premature birth, respectively. Given the recently acquired knowledge that systemic inflammation may contribute in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and may predispose to premature birth, research in the field of periodontics has focused on the potential of this chronic low-grade inflammatory condition to contribute to the generation of a systemic inflammatory phenotype. Consistent with this hypothesis clinical studies demonstrate that periodontitis patients have elevated markers of systemic inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6), haptoglobin, and fibrinogen. These are higher in periodontal patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) than in patients with AMI alone, supporting the notion that periodontal disease is an independent contributor to systemic inflammation. In the case of adverse pregnancy outcomes, studies on fetal cord blood from SBP babies indicate a strong in utero IgM antibody response specific to several oral periodontal pathogens, which induces an inflammatory response at the fetal-placental unit, leading to prematurity. The importance of periodontal infections to systemic health is further strengthened by pilot intervention trials indicating that periodontal therapy may improve surrogate cardiovascular outcomes, such as endothelial function, and may reduce four- to fivefold the incidence of premature birth. Nevertheless, further research is needed to fully discern the underlying mechanisms by which local chronic infections can have an impact on systemic health, and in this endeavor periodontal disease may serve as an ideal disease model.

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Nov;1088:251-64

Salivary hydrogen peroxide produced by holding or chewing green tea in the oral cavity.

Tea (Camellia sinensis) catechins have been studied for disease prevention. These compounds undergo oxidation and produce H(2)O(2). We have previously shown that holding tea solution or chewing tea leaves generates high salivary catechin levels. Herein, we examined the generation of H(2)O(2) in the oral cavity by green tea solution or leaves. Human volunteers holding green tea solution (0.1-0.6%) developed salivary H(2)O(2) with C(max) = 2.9-9.6 microM and AUC(0 --> infinity) = 8.5-285.3 microM min. Chewing 2 g green tea leaves produced higher levels of H(2)O(2) (C(max) = 31.2 microM, AUC(0 --> infinity) = 1290.9 microM min). Salivary H(2)O(2) correlated with catechin levels and with predicted levels of H(2)O(2) (C(max(expected)) = 36 microM vs C(max(determined)) = 31.2 microM). Salivary H(2)O(2) and catechin concentrations were similar to those that are biologically active in vitro. Catechin-generated H(2)O(2) may, therefore, have a role in disease prevention by green tea.

Free Radic Res. 2007 Jul;41(7):850-3

Minimum inhibitory concentration of adherence of Punica granatum Linn (pomegranate) gel against S. mutans, S. mitis and C. albicans.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the antimicrobial effect of a Punica granatum Linn (pomegranate) phytotherapeutic gel and miconazole (Daktarin oral gel) against three standard streptococci strains (mutans ATCC 25175, sanguis ATCC 10577 and mitis ATCC 9811), S. mutans clinically isolated and Candida albicans either alone or in association. The effect of minimum inhibitory concentrations of the gels on the adherence of these microorganisms to glass was assessed in the presence of 5% sucrose, using increasing and doubled concentrations of the diluted solution of the gels ranging from 1:1 to 1:1024. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of adherence of Punica granatum L. gel against the test organisms were: 1:16 for S. mutans (ATCC), S. mutans (CI) and S. sanguis; 1:128 for S. mitis and 1:64 for C. albicans. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of adherence of miconazole against the same organisms were: 1:512, 1:64, 1:4, 1:128 and 1:16, respectively. In experiments with three and four associated microorganisms, the Punica granatum L. gel had greater efficiency in inhibiting microbial adherence than the miconazole. The results of this study suggest that this phytotherapeutic agent might be used in the control of adherence of different microorganisms in the oral cavity.

Braz Dent J. 2006;17(3):223-7

Xylitol and dental caries: an overview for clinicians.

An overview of studies about xylitol and dental caries suggests potential clinical dental applications for xylitol. Xylitol is a naturally occurring, low-calorie sugar substitute with anticariogenic properties. Data from recent studies indicate that xylitol can reduce the occurrence of dental caries in young children, schoolchildren, and mothers, and in children via their mothers. Xylitol, a sugar alcohol, is derived mainly from birch and other hardwood trees. Short-term consumption of xylitol is associated with decreased Streptococcus mutans levels in saliva and plaque. Aside from decreasing dental caries, xylitol may also decrease the transmission of S. mutans from mothers to children. Commercial xylitol-containing products may be used to help control rampant decay in primary dentition. Studies of schoolchildren in Belize and Estonia, along with data from the University of Washington, indicate that xylitol gum, candy, ice pops, cookies, puddings, etc., in combination with other dental therapies, are associated with the arrest of carious lesions. A prospective trial in Finland has demonstrated that children of mothers treated with xylitol had lower levels of S. mutans than children of mothers treated with chlorhexidine or fluoride varnish. Food products containing xylitol are available commercially and through specialized manufacturers, and have the potential to be widely accessible to consumers.

J Calif Dent Assoc. 2003 Mar;31(3):205-9

Effects of SCN-/H2O2 combinations in dentifrices on plaque and gingivitis.

OBJECTIVES: A 10-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study on 140 male subjects was conducted to determine the effect on plaque and gingivitis of 5 dentifrices containing various thiocyanate (SCN-)/hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) combinations. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The dentifrices consisted of a gel base without any detergents or abrasives (placebo, group A) to which SCN- and/or H2O2 were added as follows: 0.1% SCN- (group B), 0.5% SCN- (group C), 0.1% SCN-/0.1% H2O2 (group D), 0.5% SCN-/0.1% H2O2 (group E) and 0.1% H2O2 (group F). A baseline examination was performed in which the Silness and Löe Plaque Index (PI), the Mühlemann and Son Sulcus Bleeding Index (SBI), and the amount of gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) were recorded using the Periotron 6,000 on teeth 16, 12, 24, 36, 32, and 44. The subjects were randomly assigned to either the placebo group (n = 40) or one of the test groups (n = 20) and used their respective dentifrices over a period of 8 weeks. Finally, each group used the placebo for another 2 weeks (wash-out). Re-examinations were performed after 1, 4, and 8 weeks and the 2-week wash-out period employing the clinical parameters used at baseline. Intragroup changes were analyzed with the Wilcoxon signed-ranks test, using the baseline and wash-out points as references. The Mann-Whitney U test was used for comparisons between the treatment groups and the placebo group. RESULTS: At the 8-week examination, the plaque index in group E (p = 0.017) and group F (p = 0.032) was lower than in the placebo group. The Sulcus Bleeding Index in group F after 1 week was increased (p = 0.023) and the SBI in group E after 8 weeks was reduced (p = 0.047) as compared to the placebo group. CONCLUSION: The results demonstrated that a dentifrice containing 0.5% SCN- and 0.1% H2O2 but no detergents or abrasives inhibited plaque and decreased gingivitis.

J Clin Periodontol. 2001 Mar;28(3):270-6

Markers of systemic bacterial exposure in periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

BACKGROUND: Recent meta-analyses reported a weak association between periodontal disease (PD) on clinical examination and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Systemic bacterial exposure from periodontitis, which correlates poorly with the clinical examination, has been proposed as the more biologically pertinent risk factor. The purpose of this study was to review and analyze the association between PD with elevated systemic bacterial exposure and CVD. METHODS: We searched in the PubMed, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, EMBASE, and SCOPUS databases for all literature examining PD and CVD. From 10 selected publications, we extracted 12 cohort (N = 5) and cross-sectional (N = 7) studies and included 11 of these in a meta-analysis. With stratified analyses, this resulted in 14 analyses of coronary heart disease (CHD; N = 7), stroke (N = 4), and carotid intima-medial thickening (CIMT; N = 3) as a measure of early atherosclerosis. Systemic bacterial exposure was measured by periodontal bacterial burden (N = 1), periodontitis-specific serology (N = 12), or C-reactive protein (N = 1). RESULTS: Periodontal disease with elevated markers of systemic bacterial exposure was associated strongly with CHD compared to subjects without PD, with a summary odds ratio of 1.75 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.32 to 2.34; P <0.001). This group was not associated with CVD events or with stroke but was associated with a significant increase in mean CIMT (0.03 mm; 95% CI: 0.02 to 0.04). CONCLUSION: Periodontal disease with elevated bacterial exposure is associated with CHD events and early atherogenesis (CIMT), suggesting that the level of systemic bacterial exposure from periodontitis is the biologically pertinent exposure with regard to atherosclerotic risk.

J Periodontol. 2007 Dec;78(12):2289-302