Oral Bacteria Linked To StrokeSaturday, February 27th, 2016, 3:45 pm
Oral bacteria has been linked to stroke and heart disease, and other health conditions. New research from Japan has increased scientists understanding of the link between certain types of strokes and oral bacteria.
Researchers at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, Japan looked at stroke patients and the oral bacteria in their saliva. The researchers specifically looked at patients with hemorrhagic stroke, in which blood vessels in the brain rupture. Of the patients who experienced this type of stroke, 26% were found to have a specific bacteria in their saliva — cnm positive Streptococcus mutans. In patients experiencing other types of strokes, researchers found only 6% tested positive for the bacteria which causes tooth decay.
The research team also reviewed MRI’s of the stroke patients looking for small brain bleeds (cerebral microbleeds or CMB) which may cause dementia. The data showed that the number of these bleeds was higher in patients with the cnm-positive S. mutans than in those without the bacteria.
What does this all mean? The researcher think that it is possible that the bacteria may attach to blood vessels that have already been weakened by hypertension or age, leading to brain bleeds.
Dr. Robert Friedland, co-author of the study said, “This study shows that oral health is important for brain health. People need to take care of their teeth because it is good for their brain their heart as well as their teeth. The study and related work in our labs have shown that oral bacteria are involved in several kinds of stroke, including brain hemorrhages and strokes that lead to dementia.”
Many scientific studies have shown a link between gum disease and heart disease. The oral bacteria responsible for gum disease have even been proven to make rheumatoid arthritis worse.
Maintaining a health mouth is simple. Brush two times per day with a soft bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste. Floss your teeth every day and visit your dentist for professional cleanings every six months — more often if you have active gum disease.
To schedule your next cleaning please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777.