Periodontitis and Atherosclerosis

  • Daisuke Ekuni
  • Takaaki Tomofuji
  • Manabu Morita
Part of the Oxidative Stress in Applied Basic Research and Clinical Practice book series (OXISTRESS)


In this chapter, we summarize the relationship between periodontitis and atherosclerosis and the involvement of oxidative stress. Several studies indicate that reactive oxygen and nitrogen species have a causal role in atherosclerosis. Periodontitis is one of the most widespread inflammatory diseases, and it induces excessive production of reactive oxygen species in periodontal lesions. Previous studies have suggested that there is an association between cardiovascular disease (CVD) and periodontitis, and that periodontitis plays an etiological role in CVD, including atherosclerosis. Two prevailing hypotheses may explain the relationship between periodontitis and CVD. First, periodontal bacteria may have a direct effect on the vasculature. Second, local inflammation causes an enhanced inflammatory response at distant sites without the spread of the infectious agent. We focused on the second hypothesis because oxidative stress by periodontitis may be an initiating or promoting factor leading to inflammatory injury in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The role of antioxidants in controlling periodontitis and atherosclerosis is also discussed.


Reactive Oxygen Species Inflammatory Injury Periodontitis Group Human Periodontitis Nitrotyrosine Expression 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are grateful to Dr. Noriko Takeuchi (Okayama University, Okayama, Japan) for help creating figures.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daisuke Ekuni
    • 1
  • Takaaki Tomofuji
    • 1
  • Manabu Morita
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Preventive DentistryOkayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical SciencesKita-kuJapan

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