Researchers have found that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease as those without periodontal disease.

In one study people diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia (stroke) were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.

Several theories exist to explain the link between periodontal disease and heart disease.

One theory is that oral bacteria can enter the blood stream from the mouth and affect the heart oral bacteria can affect the heart. There the bacteria attach to fatty plaques in the coronary arteries (heart blood vessels) and contribute to clot formation.

Blood clots can obstruct normal blood flow, restricting the amount of nutrients and oxygen required for the heart to function properly. This may lead to heart attacks.

Severe periodontal disease was associated with a higher number of acute coronary plasques and a higher extension of coronary artery disease, in patients with acute coronary syndromes.

Another possibility is that the inflammation caused by periodontal disease increases plaque build up, which may contribute to swelling of the arteries.

Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures.

It is not uncommon to see C-Reactive Protein elevated in people with peridontal disease

source - Dr Ronald Grisanti