Dental Research: periodontitis increases risk of stroke before age 50

June 13, 2024  15:45

Researchers from the University of Helsinki (Finland) have found that periodontitis (inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth) significantly increases the risk of stroke in people under 50 years of age. The results of the study are published in the journal Dental Research.

The study involved volunteers who had suffered a stroke between the ages of 20 and 50 for undisclosed reasons. Researchers analyzed each subject's medical history, focusing on assessing their oral health.

The results showed that periodontitis was more common in participants with stroke than in healthy volunteers (the control group). This condition not only increased the risk of stroke before the age of 50, but also influenced its severity - deep and severe inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth correlated with more extensive brain damage. They also found that the likelihood of stroke after tooth extraction and root canal treatment remained elevated for three months after the intervention.

Researchers explained that the healthy, balanced oral microbiome of periodontitis can change. Some harmful bacteria may begin to multiply, feeding on tissue destroyed by inflammation. Normally, the body eliminates these bacteria from the bloodstream, but for people with an open oval opening in the interatrial septum, they pose a particular risk.

The open oval window (OVO) of the heart is the opening between the left and right atrium. It acts as a valve and is normally present in every fetus and is necessary for fetal blood flow. The entry of pathogenic bacteria into the bloodstream when the foramen ovale is not fully closed in an adult can increase the risk of blood clots clogging brain vessels (ischemic stroke).

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