C-reactive protein as a systemic marker of inflammation in periodontitis

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Periodontitis has been identified as a potential risk factor for systemic pathologies such as cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aims of this investigation were to assess the relationship between periodontitis and systemic inflammatory factor, as well as to discover whether there is a relation to the severity of periodontitis and to the periodontopathogens. Periodontal examinations and serum C-reactive protein (CRP) level measurements were performed in 50 patients with periodontitis. Periodontal health indicators included the gingival bleeding on probing index and periodontal disease status. The patients with moderate periodontitis had low attachment loss and pocket depth <4 mm. The patients with severe periodontitis had high attachment loss and pocket depth >5 mm. The control group comprised 25 volunteers with healthy gingiva, gingival sulcus <2 mm and no attachment loss. The presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans in subgingival plaque samples was analysed by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. The periodontal parameters and CRP levels were significantly higher in the patients with periodontitis. Patients who had severe periodontitis, with high levels of mean clinical attachment loss, and subjects with moderate periodontitis had higher mean CRP levels. The percentage of subjects with elevated levels of CRP >5 mg/l was greater in the higher clinical attachment loss group compared to the group with lower attachment loss. The presence of P. gingivalis and A. actinomycetemcomitans were also associated with elevated CRP levels and poor periodontal status. Periodontitis and the presence of P. gingivalis are associated with an enhanced inflammatory response expressed by higher CRP levels. The association of periodontitis with CRP levels appears to be a contributing factor for CVD and might be a possible intermediate pathway in this association.

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