The Link Between Gum Disease and Stroke

New research suggests that Gum diseases, Gingivitis and Periodontitis may increase the risk of stroke. A recent study examined whether periodontal disease is independently associated with cerebral ischemia:

Over 300 patients were examined within 7 days after experiencing an acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack. All participants underwent clinical and radiographic dental examinations. The team used the individual mean clinical attachment loss measured at four sites per tooth as the primary indicator for periodontitis.

After adjustment for age, sex, number of teeth, and other factors, the risk of cerebral ischemia increased with increasing severity of periodontitis.

Subjects with severe periodontitis had a 4.3-fold increased risk of cerebral ischemia than those with mild or no periodontitis.

Active periodontal inflammation may contribute to a prothrombotic state via recurrent bacteremia, platelet activation, and elevated clotting factors, thereby increasing the risk of cardioembolism and cryptogenic stroke,’ say the authors.

Gum disease and Periodontitis are treatable – and preventable – conditions. Treating gum disease in its early stages can be key to preventing related complications – including stroke.