The Link between Periodontal Disease and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Smokers Abstract

TheLink between Periodontal Disease and Chronic Obstructive PulmonaryDisease in Smokers


Thepurpose of this paper was to explore the relationship betweenperiodontal disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease insmokers using a systematic review. None of the included sources couldstrongly point out the relationship —many only postulate andrecommend the need for further studies. This discussion creates theallowance to infer that there is still much to be done about researchthe subject to understand whether there could be causality betweenthe two health complications.

Chronicobstructive pulmonary disease is one of health challenges that thecontemporary society is grappling to address. The statistics onchronic obstructive pulmonary disease are documented and highlightthe condition is so prevalent that it warrants attention. Accordingto Henke,Budweiser and Jörres (2016),well over 200 million people across the globe suffer from the chronicobstructive pulmonary disease, resulting in far-reaching consequencessuch as the mortality. While the society has acknowledged the need toaddress the problem as a way of realizing sustainable health, theinterventional measures have been constrained by lack of adequateunderstanding of the causes. The link between chronic obstructivepulmonary disease and periodontal disease, an inflammatory diseaseaffecting the tissues supporting the teeth, has been one of thepromising areas of research aimed at providing an understanding ofthe problem. The underpinning premise is that both the chronicobstructive pulmonary and periodontal diseases are characterized byinflammation and neutrophilic complications that result in loss ofthe connective tissues and that the association could explain thecausal relationship. However, the accounts of the nature ofrelationships between the two health complications remain so unclearthat it cannot offer practical intervention lead. The purpose of thispaper is to explore the relationship between periodontal disease andchronic obstructive pulmonary disease in smokers.


Thepresents study adopts the systematic review methodology. Thecriterion of the references to include in the review was guided bythe search strategy comprising of the keywords, ‘PeriodontalDisease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, the causalrelationship/link, smokers.` It was hoped that a search based on thekeywords would generate materials addressing the subject. Moreover,it was expected that the search would generate different sources withquestionable relevance and validity and that an inclusion criterionwas necessary to assure accurate inference. First, to be included inthe review, the articles needed to be as recent as published withinthe five years, a consideration that was oriented towards ensuringthat the information reflects the prevailing developments. Besides,only peer reviewed sources would be considered because of theirinherent tendencies to promise accuracy by observing desirable,mainstream research practices. Moreover, only the sources from the USNational Library of Medicine NationalInstitutes of Health website would be considered because itprovides the reliable and recently published research articles. Thesearch yielded different articles, but only 5 articles wereconsidered to have satisfied the inclusion criterion.Topof Form


Theincluded articles presented various concurring themes concerning therelationship between the periodontal disease and chronic obstructivepulmonary disease in smokers. Thestudy by Xian-Tao, Ming-Li and Dong-Yan et al (2012) seek sought toexamine the link between the periodontal diseases and the risks ofchronic obstructive pulmonary disease using the meta-analysismethodology. The study utilized sources on PubMed website. The studyestablished that periodontal disease was a significant, butindependent risk factor for COPD. The study, however, was unable toinfer whether the intervention of periodontal diseases would resultin desirable outcomes in regulating the start and progression COPD.The article by Usher and Stockley (2013) explores the commondiscussions on the relationship between periodontal diseases andCOPD, questioning the role of the neutrophil. Their methodology isessentially explorative. They conclude that while the evidence of anindependent association between the two health complications isgrowing stronger, there are no experimental studies that havesatisfactorily explored the issue.

Henke,Budweiser and Jörres (2016) explored the relationship betweenvarious parameters of the dental health and the lung functions. Thestudy revealed the existence of a strong link between lung functionsand dental health. In particular, only the presence of denturerevealed weak associations between the two. The link was particularlyaccounted based on age factor and smoking behaviors. The study byLedić, Marinković, Puhar and Spalj et al. (2013) sought to examinethe link between the periodontal diseases and chronic obstructivepulmonary disease using cross-sectional study methodology. The studyconcluded there is significant evidence that periodontal diseases area risk factor for COPD. Peter, Mute, Doiphode, Bardapurkar, Borkarand Raje (2013) sought to question whether there was any link betweenthe two health complications. Based on cross-section analysis on thesubjects, the study found a link between periodontal indices andseverity of the lung complications. The study concluded that, whilethe findings could not accurately ascertain the causal relationship,it nevertheless provides evidence that poor dental health isassociated with severe lung health.


Ascan be inferred from the findings, it is indeed indisputable that therelationship between periodontal disease and chronic obstructivepulmonary disease exists. It is worth noting that although theincluded studies have relied on different methodologies, theirresults tended lead to more or less the same conclusions. Thisscenario might serve as a strong indicator of the validity andreliability of the view. However, what seems to be particularlycontested is whether there is any form of causality between the two.None of the references could strongly point out the relationship—many only postulate and recommend the need for further studies.This discussion creates the allowance to infer that there is stillmuch to be done about research the subject to understand whetherthere could be causality between the two health complications.


Xian-Tao,Z.,Ming-Li, T., Dong-Yan, L., Dong, Z., Jing, Z., WeiDong, L., &ampLynette, K. (2012),Periodontal Disease and Risk of ChronicObstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Meta-Analysis of ObservationalStudies. PLoSOne.2012 7(10): e46508.

Usher,A. and Stockley, R.(2013).The link between chronic periodontitis andCOPD: a common role for the neutrophil? BMCMed.11: 241.

Henke,C., Budweiser, S. &amp Jörres, A. (2016). Lung function andassociations with multiple dimensions of dental health: a prospectiveobservational cross-sectional study. BMCRes Notes.179:274.

Ledić,K., Marinković, S., Puhar, I., Spalj, S., Popović-Grle, S.,Ivić-Kardum, M., Samarzija, M., &amp Plancak, D (2013).Periodontaldisease increases risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.CollAntropol.2013 Sep37(3):937-42.

Peter,K., Mute, B., Doiphode, S., Bardapurkar, S., Borkar MS. &amp RajeDV. (2013)Association between periodontal disease and chronicobstructive pulmonary disease: a reality or just a dogma? JPeriodontol.2013 Dec84 (12):1717-23.