This introductory article examines the potential mechanisms that may play a role in the associations between periodontitis and the systemic conditions being considered in the EFP/AAP Workshop in Segovia, Spain. Three basic mechanisms have been postulated to play a role in these interactions: metastatic infections, inflammation and inflammatory injury, and adaptive immunity. The potential role of each alone and together is considered in in vitro and animal studies and in human studies when available. This is not a systematic or critical review, but rather an overview of the field to set the stage for the critical reviews in each of the working groups.

pdfJ Clin Periodontol 2013; 40 (Suppl. 14): S1-S7 doi 10.1111/jcpe.12088