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Understanding Inflammatory load

This is a newer concept in medicine that is affecting the way we look at many of the diseases that affect the human being. Years ago, the term bacterial load was used to explain how a disease started and progressed. Simply explained, the absolute numbers of a disease-producing bacteria predicted the initiation and progression of a disease. What many researchers noted was some patients had a low concentration of pathogenic bacteria and severe disease. The opposite was also true; high concentration of bacteria with minimal or no disease. What was discovered was that there was a tremendous degree of variability from patient to patient in how they responded to these bacteria. What they found was that some patients are hyper-responders. A low number of bacteria produce a tremendous amount of inflammatory mediators. These mediators can cause disease or ramp up existing disease. The inflammatory mediators remain the same whether they are produced by periodontal disease or a skinned knee. Periodontal disease, however, constantly causes the mediators to be churned out into the bloodstream. These mediators then travel to distant sites in the body where they can cause existing disease to increase in severity or in some cases to start the disease process.

Periodontal disease, systemic Inflammation and the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).