Treating gum disease, alongside other stroke risk factors, might help prevent stroke by reducing the buildup of plaque in arteries and narrowing of blood vessels in the brain, researchers say. File Photo by Laboko/Shutterstock

Gum disease linked to higher stroke risk


Gum disease may be linked to higher rates of stroke caused by hardened and severely blocked arteries, preliminary research findings indicate.

Two unpublished studies suggest that treating gum disease alongside other stroke risk factors might help prevent stroke by reducing the buildup of plaque in arteries and narrowing of blood vessels in the brain. However, the studies do not prove that gum disease is a cause of stroke.

"Because inflammation appears to play a major role in the development and worsening of atherosclerosis, or 'hardening' of blood vessels, we investigated if gum disease is associated with blockages in brain vessels and strokes caused by atherosclerosis of the brain vessels," said Dr. Souvik Sen, who led both studies. Sen is chairman of clinical neurology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

The first study involved 265 stroke patients. Sen and his team investigated whether gum disease and specific types of stroke were related. They found:

The second study involved more than 1,100 patients who had not experienced a stroke. It found:

The preliminary research is to be presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles, Feb. 19-21.

"It's important for clinicians to recognize that gum disease is an important source of inflammation for their patients and to work with patients to address gum disease," Sen said in a meeting news release.

People who had gum disease serious enough to result in tooth loss were excluded from the study.

Researchers are now studying whether treating gum disease reduces its association with stroke.

Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has more on gum disease.

Copyright 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

(0) Leave a comment

Latest Headlines

Health News // 1 hour ago
Cocoa may improve lower-leg blood flow, walking in peripheral artery disease
Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Cocoa may help improve walking and lower-leg blood flow in adults with peripheral artery disease, according to a study published Friday in the journal Circulation Research.

Health News // 2 hours ago
China lowers death toll; admits 1,700 medics infected
Feb. 14 (UPI) -- China revised down its death toll Friday from a deadly coronavirus by 108 due to "repeated statistics," the National Health Commission said, adjusting the tally to 1,308 since the outbreak began in December.

Health News // 5 hours ago
Fresh donor eggs better for IVF than frozen eggs
Fresh donated eggs appear to be better for in-vitro fertilization than frozen ones, a new study suggests, with fresh eggs linked to a 25 percent better chance of live birth and 10 percent higher odds for good outcomes.

Health News // 9 hours ago
Fewer liquor stores linked to lower murder rates
Having fewer liquor stores in cities may lead to lower murder rates, a new study suggests.

Health News // 12 hours ago
Chronic kidney disease kills more than 1M people annually worldwide
Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Chronic kidney disease has been described as a "global killer in plain sight" by the authors of a new analysis estimating the prevalence of the condition.

Health News // 15 hours ago
'Tough guys' at higher risk for suicide
In the United States, the suicide death rate among men is about 3.5 times that of women, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health News // 16 hours ago
Latin people in U.S., Central, South America less likely to die prematurely
Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Residents of Latin American countries and U.S. citizens of Latin descent are less likely to die prematurely than white and black Americans, a new analysis has found.

Health News // 19 hours ago
Heading in soccer may adversely affect eye function
Feb. 13 (UPI) -- A new study in JAMA Ophthalmology adds to mounting evidence that "headers" can cause significant brain trauma, even in older players, including effects on brain and eye function.

Health News // 20 hours ago
After stroke, many smokers continue to light up
While fewer Americans are smoking these days, the habit has remained stubbornly persistent among stroke survivors, new research shows.

Health News // 20 hours ago
CDC confirms 15th coronavirus case in U.S.
Feb. 13 (UPI) -- CDC officials Thursday confirmed the 15th case of COVID-19 in the United States, the second new U.S. case in less than 24 hours.