Recent studies have suggested that periodontal disease increases the risk of atherothrombotic disease. Atherosclerosis has been characterized as a chronic inflammatory response to cholesterol deposition in the arteries. Although several studies have suggested that certain periodontopathic bacteria accelerate atherogenesis in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice, the mechanistic link between cholesterol accumulation and periodontal infection-induced inflammation is largely unknown. We orally infected C57BL/6 and C57BL/6.KOR-Apoe(shl) (B6.Apoeshl) mice with Porphyromonas gingivalis, which is a representative periodontopathic bacterium, and evaluated atherogenesis, gene expression in the aorta and liver and systemic inflammatory and lipid profiles in the blood. Furthermore, the effect of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from P. gingivalis on cholesterol transport and the related gene expression was examined in peritoneal macrophages. Alveolar bone resorption and elevation of systemic inflammatory responses were induced in both strains. Despite early changes in the expression of key genes involved in cholesterol turnover, such as liver X receptor and ATP-binding cassette A1, serum lipid profiles did not change with short-term infection. Long-term infection was associated with a reduction in serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol but not with the development of atherosclerotic lesions in wild-type mice. In B6.Apoeshl mice, long-term infection resulted in the elevation of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), LDL and total cholesterols in addition to the reduction of HDL cholesterol. This shift in the lipid profile was concomitant with a significant increase in atherosclerotic lesions. Stimulation with P. gingivalis LPS induced the change of cholesterol transport via targeting the expression of LDL receptor-related genes and resulted in the disturbance of regulatory mechanisms of the cholesterol level in macrophages. Periodontal infection itself does not cause atherosclerosis, but it accelerates it by inducing systemic inflammation and deteriorating lipid metabolism, particularly when underlying hyperlidemia or susceptibility to hyperlipidemia exists, and it may contribute to the development of coronary heart disease.