CRP Testing

C-reactive protein (CRP) causes clotting, and this can contribute to heart attack, stroke, deep vein thrombosis in a leg, or even a pulmonary embolus. CRP is induced by inflammation, and periodontal disease is a major producer of inflammation throughout the body. CRP levels are usually measured in milligrams per liter (mg/L), and CRP levels higher than 3 mg/L indicate high risk for heart disease; people with CRP levels > 3 mg/L are at least twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease compared to low risk people. One study reports that CRP becomes a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, and stroke at levels of 1.34 mg/L and above. A high-sensitivity CRP test is not currently routinely ordered by dentists, but perhaps more dentists will request this blood test for their patients in the future. High CRP levels can predict a future clotting event, sometimes as much as 8 years in advance.


(Source: The Oral Health Bible, Basic Health Publications, Inc., 2003)