This article provides evidence revealing dental infections such as periodontitis, gingivitis, and endodontic lesions may be linked to cardiovascular disease, atrial fibrillation, and cardiac arrhythmia.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common persistent cardiac arrhythmia occurring in clinical practice.
Oral bacteria and/or their DNA have been detected in human atherosclerotic lesions, the pericardial fluid, heart valves, and thrombi in many studies. A recent meta-analysis of 63 studies that included 1791 patients confirmed the presence of 23 oral bacterial species in atherosclerotic plaques. Campylobacter rectus, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Porphyromonas endodontalis, Prevotella intermedia, and Prevotella nigrescens.
Patients affected by oral infections are exposed to many toxins, metabolic products, and proteins of bacterial origin, which may influence the myocardium.
Inflammation, as well as atrial electrical and structural remodeling, is suggested to play a role in the initiation and perpetuation of AF.
A good dental work-up is considered wise medicine when dealing with AF.