Myeloperoxidase: A Circulating Marker of Inflammation and Tooth Infection

Craig S. Miller, Richard J. Kryscio, Amy L. Doneen, Bradley F. Bale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and tooth infection are common in primary care, and both significantly reduce quality of life. Our study aimed to examine signs of vascular inflammation associated with loss of tooth vitality before and after a single tooth extraction. Methods: An observational cohort study was performed with adults who had a nonvital tooth and an indicated desire for tooth extraction. Concentrations of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), myeloperoxidase (MPO), and troponin T were measured in venous blood serum or plasma at baseline and 6-weeks after tooth extraction. Results: Circulating hs-CRP levels were > 3 mg/dL in 15 participants (68.2%) and MPO levels were > 350 pmol/L in 9 (40.9%) of 22 participants at baseline. After tooth extraction (n = 18), MPO levels decreased significantly compared with baseline (P < .00006) and hs-CRP levels moved directionally downward. The response rate for MPO was 88.9% (confidence interval: 65.1%-98.6%) from visit 1 to visit 2. Those with high MPO levels at baseline demonstrated larger reductions in MPO levels by visit 2 than those with lower baseline MPO levels (r = .81; P < .0001). A total of 13 individuals (72.2%) achieved MPO levels < 350 pmol/L and 11 (61.1%) achieved hs-CRP levels < 3 mg/dL at visit 2. Total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and troponin T levels did not significantly change from visit 1 to visit 2. Conclusion: A link between dental infection and circulating levels of inflammation was observed, suggesting that oral infection could be a risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-393.e1
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Infections
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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