Systemic inflammation linking chronic periodontitis to cognitive decline

Rachel Pei Hsuan Wang, Yuen Shan Ho, Wai Keung Leung, Tetsuya Goto, Raymond Chuen Chung Chang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Persistent inflammation in the systemic immune system can impose detrimental effects on the central nervous system (CNS). Neuroinflammation might be a result of this to accelerate the progressive deterioration of neuronal functions during aging. In this regard, controlling inflammation through delaying and/or preventing chronic inflammatory diseases may be a potential strategy to prevent or modify the progression of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the oral cavity that is common among the elderly, especially for those who have decline in cognitive functions. While epidemiological findings support the association of chronic periodontitis and cognitive decline, whether they have causal relationship remains unclear. Nonetheless, the possibility that periodontopathogens, systemic immune cells and inflammatory cytokines could reach the CNS should not be overlooked. The impacts of periodontitis on CNS homeostasis and inflammation as a pathophysiological factor concerning the association between periodontitis and AD will be discussed in this review. Future work should elucidate the pathological pathways involved in periodontitis-induced cerebral infections and inflammation, and define the role of the latter in AD progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • BBB permeability
  • Cognitive dysfunctions
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Periodontitis
  • Systemic inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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