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Released: Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Expires: Thursday, April 30, 2020

Biofilms: The Oral-Systemic Connection

By Gregori M. Kurtzman, DDS, MAGD

Commercial Supporter: Philips Oral Healthcare

The formation of oral biofilm can be a major factor leading to periodontal disease. Harmful strains of bacteria in the oral biofilm can enter the bloodstream during the inflammatory response and travel to other areas of the body, exerting a distant systemic effect that has been connected to numerous diseases. This article reviews this link and discusses maladies associated with periodontal disease, including cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, cancers, and more. A discussion of the management of oral biofilms is also included.



  • Describe the characteristics of oral biofilm and its role in causing periodontal disease.
  • Explain why patients with periodontal diseases have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular and other systemic problems.
  • Discuss ways that oral biofilms can be more effectively managed to combat periodontal disease.

About the Author

Gregori M. Kurtzman, DDS, MAGD
Private practice in Silver Spring, Maryland. Formerly an assistance clinical professor at the University of Maryland, Department of Endodontics. Prosthetics, and Operative Dentistry, Baltimore, Maryland.

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