Highlighted review: Periodontal therapy for the management of cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic periodontitis

Chunjie Li, Zongkai Lv, Zongdao Shi, Ye Zhu, Yafei Wu, Longjiang Li, Zipporah Iheozor-EjioforĀ 

Plain language summary: Treatment for gum disease (periodontitis) for the management of disease involving the heart and blood vessels in patients with chronic gum disease

Review question
The main question addressed by this review produced by Cochrane Oral Health was whether or not treatment for moderate to severe gum disease (periodontitis) also has an effect on the prevention or management of heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease.

Background
Gum disease (periodontitis) is a common chronic or persisting condition that can get worse over time. It involves inflammation of the gums, which surround and support the teeth, causing swollen and painful gums and in severe cases loss of the bone (alveolar) that supports the teeth.

Clinical investigations have shown that there might be a link or association between chronic, ongoing gum disease (periodontitis) and heart and blood vessel disease (cardiovascular disease). Some investigators believe that the treatment for gum disease, which gets rid of bacteria and infection and controls inflammation, might prevent the occurrence or recurrence of heart disease.

Study characteristics
The evidence on which this review is based is from searches up to 27 August 2017. The included randomised controlled study involved 303 participants.

Key results
At present there is only one suitable study looking at this issue. The study had problems with its design. Based on this evidence it was not possible to determine whether or not treatment for gum (periodontal) disease has any effect on the occurrence or recurrence of heart disease in people with chronic gum disease.

Quality of the evidence
The quality of the evidence was very low as there was only one study with problems in its design and how the study was conducted.

Read the full review

Citation: Li C, Lv Z, Shi Z, Zhu Y, Wu Y, Li L, Iheozor-Ejiofor Z. Periodontal therapy for the management of cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic periodontitis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD009197. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009197.pub3.