Link of Video Abstract: https://youtu.be/Cgi15seZAw4
A growing evidence links periodontitis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the oral cavity, to the development of systemic inflammation. One of the most commonly reported is pneumonia, arising from aspiration of the periodontal pathogens into the lung tissue. In high-risk individuals, the morbidity and mortality rate is high, raising the concern for prevention measures. Secondary systemic effects are proposed to arise from both direct periodontal pathogens spread and through leakage of bacterial byproducts and local inflammatory cytokines to the bloodstream. The association of periodontitis and systemic diseases is bi-directional, as systemic diseases may, in turn, increase the incidence and severity of periodontal diseases. Here, the conflicting roles of the immune system in both limiting pathogen growth and its potential catastrophic inflammatory activation is further discussed. In addition, possible approaches to prevent periodontitis from spreading into the respiratory organs are also proposed. Given the large number of the population affected by periodontitis, a comprehensive understanding of the pathomechanisms of the development of systemic diseases, notably pneumonia, as well as the discovery of prevention and therapeutic approaches, is urgently needed.