Is There A Link Between Periodontitis and Stroke?

link between periodontitis and stroke henderson nv

Stroke is a significant health concern worldwide, with ischemic stroke being one of the most prevalent types. What is alarming is the increasing incidence of ischemic stroke among younger individuals, a trend that demands deeper investigation by researchers into the underlying risk factors. While traditional risk factors like hypertension and diabetes are known contributors, recent research has shed light on the potential role of periodontitis and invasive dental procedures in young-onset cryptogenic ischemic stroke (CIS).

A groundbreaking study published in the Journal of Dental Research by J. Leskelä et al. explores this association, highlighting the potential link between oral health and stroke risk in young adults. In this article, we delve into the key findings of this study, offering insights into the complex interplay between periodontal disease, dental interventions, and the onset of cryptogenic stroke in young individuals.

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What Is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and destroys the bone-supporting teeth. It is a common cause of tooth loss in adults. Periodontitis can develop when gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) goes untreated. Gingivitis is caused by the buildup of plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—on teeth.

Initially, periodontitis causes your gums to become swollen and bleed easily during brushing and flossing. As the disease progresses, the gums pull away from the teeth, forming infected pockets. Over time, these pockets deepen, further destroying the gum tissue and bone. This can eventually result in loose teeth that may need to be removed.

Periodontitis is typically painless in its early stages, so it often goes unnoticed until it becomes more advanced. However, there are some signs and symptoms to watch out for, including:

  1. Persistent bad breath
  2. Red, swollen, or tender gums
  3. Gums that bleed easily
  4. Painful chewing
  5. Loose or shifting teeth
  6. Receding gums, making teeth appear longer

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The Study: Investigating the Oral-Stroke Connection

The study, conducted as part of the SECRETO (Searching for Explanations for Cryptogenic Stroke in the Young) research program, enrolled adults aged 18 to 49 who presented with a first-ever CIS. The goal was to determine whether periodontitis or recent invasive dental treatments were associated with young-onset cryptogenic ischemic stroke.

Researchers performed thorough clinical and radiographic oral examinations on 146 case-control pairs matched for age and sex. They also measured serum levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and lipotechoic acid (LTA) to assess bacteremia as a potential mediator of the oral-stroke association.

Key Findings

The study yielded several noteworthy findings:

  1. Association with Periodontitis: Periodontitis was significantly more prevalent among CIS patients than controls. Notably, the severity of periodontitis correlated with the risk and severity of cryptogenic stroke, suggesting a dose-dependent relationship.
  2. Impact of Invasive Dental Procedures: Recent invasive dental treatments performed within three months before stroke onset were associated with an increased risk of cryptogenic stroke. This association was particularly strong among individuals with a patent foramen ovale (PFO), a common cardiac anomaly.
  3. Role of Bacteremia: While serum levels of LPS and LTA did not differ significantly between CIS patients and controls, there was a notable trend of increasing LPS/LTA ratio with the severity of periodontitis. This suggests a potential role of oral bacteria-derived toxins in mediating the association between periodontitis and stroke.

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Health Implications and Conclusion

The findings of this study underscore the importance of maintaining oral health in preventing young-onset cryptogenic stroke. Periodontitis and invasive dental procedures emerge as potential modifiable risk factors that warrant attention in stroke prevention strategies, especially among younger individuals.

As we unravel the intricate relationship between oral health and stroke risk, it becomes increasingly evident that comprehensive dental care and regular oral health assessments are crucial for maintaining overall well-being. By addressing periodontal disease and minimizing the risks associated with invasive dental procedures, we can mitigate the burden of young-onset cryptogenic stroke and improve the quality of life for individuals at risk.

This study serves as a wake-up call for the need of interdisciplinary collaboration between dental and medical professionals to bridge the gap between oral health and systemic diseases like stroke. By integrating oral health assessments into routine stroke risk evaluations, we can take proactive steps toward preventing stroke and promoting holistic health for all individuals, regardless of age.

About Marielaina Perrone, DDS

 

Dr. Marielaina Perrone is a highly respected and experienced dentist in Henderson, Nevada, with over two decades of expertise inMarielaina Perrone DDS Henderson Cosmetic Dentist providing quality dental care to her patients. She graduated from Stony Brook University School Of Dental Medicine and has completed advanced training in cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry, and orthodontics.

Dr. Perrone is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in dentistry and continuing education to provide the best possible care for her patients.

Dr. Perrone takes a patient-centered approach and believes in personalized treatment plans tailored to each individual’s unique needs and preferences. Her gentle and compassionate demeanor creates a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere for patients during their dental appointments.

Aside from dentistry, Dr. Perrone enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and cooking. She also volunteers her time and expertise to various charitable organizations in her community.

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