Oral inflammation in the form of gingivitis and periodontitis, is the most prevalent microbial-mediated disease world-wide. The cause of these chronic inflammatory conditions is the bacteria residing in dental plaque. During the last 10 years, interest in the connections between oral and systemic inflammation and overall health has continued to grow. In fact, many are now convinced that the mouth bacteria, and the systemic inflammatory reaction resulting from the bacteria, are responsible for the connection between periodontitis and chronic inflammatory conditions such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis and diabetes. A growing body of evidence supports the notion that oral infection is associated with atherosclerosis. It is clear that oral infection makes a significant contribution to the total body burden of infection and inflammation.
All health professionals should do everything possible to ensure that oral infection is kept to a minimum. Individuals can do their part with oral hygiene procedures that include daily tooth brushing, flossing and rinsing with an antimicrobial mouth rinse.