INTRODUCTION: Periodontal disease (PD) and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are among the most common pathologies in the world and their relationship has long been studied. Both conditions lead to a chronic inflammatory process with degenerative characteristics and their bi-univocal correlation is now well established. The aim of this umbrella review on cardiovascular and periodontal disease was to evaluate the real degree of association between these two pathological conditions.
EVIDENCE ACQUITION: We conducted a comprehensive literature search on PubMed/Medline and in the Cochrane Library for systematic reviews focused on clinical evidence regarding the relationship between PD and CVD. The internal validity of systematic reviews and meta-analyses was formally analyzed using the Overview Quality Assessment Questionnaire (OQAQ) tool. The umbrella review was planned in accordance with current international recommendations and was described as specified by the PRISMA guidelines.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Thirty-one systematic reviews, including 8 meta-analyses for a total of 507 clinical studies and over 3,549,966 patients were included. PD resulted to be associated with a higher risk of developing CVD (acute coronary syndrome, acute myocardial infarction) and cerebrovascular diseases (ischemic stroke); however, if the treatment of periodontitis reduces the risk of CVD events related is yet to be investigated.
CONCLUSIONS: To date, the relationship between CVD and PD provides heterogeneous data. There is an association between PD and CVD but a causal relationship cannot be established. Further research with properly designed long-term follow-up studies are needed in order to examine various physiopathological aspects of their association.