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Oral infections are common among individuals of all ages and can activate local and systemic inflammation. The inflammatory response plays an important role in atherosclerosis. An increasing number of studies have reported an association between oral pathogen infection and atherosclerotic coronary heart disease. For instance, epidemiological studies support the positive correlation between oral infections and atherosclerosis. The presence of oral pathogens in human atherosclerotic plaques has been detected by multiple methods, and oral infections promote atherosclerosis in animal experiments. Various mechanisms are involved in oral infections, thereby promoting atherosclerosis. First, oral infections can trigger the local and systemic inflammatory response, causing vascular endothelial damage. Oral-derived pathogens that enter atherosclerotic plaque can activate macrophages and cause an intra-plaque inflammatory response. Second, oral infections can promote intra-plaque macrophage cholesterol accumulation and foam cell formation. Third, oral infections can regulate plasma lipid levels, thereby increasing atherogenic lipid low-density lipoprotein and triglyceride levels. Although atherosclerosis caused by oral infections is currently studied, the precise mechanism remains to be further explored. The rise of gut microbiota research also makes the relationship between oral microbiota and disease, especially the relationship with coronary heart disease, worthy of attention and in-depth research. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Xiang-Rui Liu, Qian Xu, Jun Xiao, Yi-Ming Deng, Zhi-Han Tang, Ya-Ling Tang, Lu-Shan Liu. Role of oral microbiota in atherosclerosis. Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry. 2020 Jul;506:191-195

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PMID: 32220421

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