The association between subgingival periodontal pathogens and systemic inflammation

Lewis Winning*, Christopher C Patterson, Kathy M Cullen, Kathryn A Stevenson, Fionnuala T Lundy, Frank Kee, Gerard J Linden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Aim To investigate associations between periodontal disease pathogens and levels of systemic inflammation measured by C-reactive protein (CRP). Methods A representative sample of dentate 60-70-year-old men in Northern Ireland had a comprehensive periodontal examination. Men taking statins were excluded. Subgingival plaque samples were analysed by quantitative real time PCR to identify the presence of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola and Tannerella forsythia. High-sensitivity CRP (mg/l) was measured from fasting blood samples. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed using log-transformed CRP concentration as the dependent variable, with the presence of each periodontal pathogen as predictor variables, with adjustment for various potential confounders. Results A total of 518 men (mean age 63.6 SD 3.0 years) were included in the analysis. Multiple regression analysis showed that body mass index (p < 0.001), current smoking (p < 0.01), the detectable presence of P. gingivalis (p < 0.01) and hypertension (p = 0.01), were independently associated with an increased CRP. The detectable presence of P. gingivalis was associated with a 20% (95% confidence interval 4-35%) increase in CRP (mg/l) after adjustment for all other predictor variables. Conclusion In these 60-70-year-old dentate men, the presence of P. gingivalis in subgingival plaque was significantly associated with a raised level of C-reactive protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799-806
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Issue number9
Early online date26 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 2015


  • C-reactive protein
  • cardiovascular disease
  • inflammation
  • periodontitis
  • porphyromonas gingivalis
  • subgingival bacteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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