Clarification of the impact of periodontal health on systemic health

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The long-held dogma that specific oral bacteria are directly responsible for infection in distant organs is oversimplified and difficult to prove.16,17 There is an association shown between periodontal disease and systemic health parameters, and in human medicine, the presence of chronic inflammation associated with periodontitis has been recognized to likely negatively impact overall systemic health.18–25 The systemic spread of inflammatory mediators and cytokines and bacterial endotoxins from periodontal pathogens can impact the vascular system throughout the body and even cause histological changes in distant organs.26–28 Management or resolution of the inflammation associated with periodontitis is likely to have greater clinical impact that just considering antibacterial efforts. 25,29,30 Although evidence demonstrating the direct correlation between systemic disease and oral and dental infections may be difficult to prove, the positive impact on patient quality of life is often clinically demonstrated and widely experienced.

These guidelines are supported by generous educational grants from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., CareCredit, Hill’s® Pet Nutrition Inc., and Midmark

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