Proper oral hygiene is important for mouth health; however, a new study reveals that it might also help to avoid a stroke, too.
A research team stemming from Finland’s Tampere University reviewed blood clot samples from 75 individuals who were admitted to emergency for ischemic stroke at the University’s Hospital Acute Stroke Unit.
Patients underwent thrombectomies, a procedure to take out blood clots via catheters that extend through the arteries.
When the team reviewed the samples of blood clots in this form, they discovered that 79 percent of the individuals had a DNA from a common oral bacterium. These levels of oral bacteria were far more increased in the samples of blood clots then in any other samples that doctors took from the patients.
The research is just one part of a larger Tampere University study, which has been underway for about a decade now, focusing on bacteria’s role within cardiovascular illnesses. This larger study has already revealed that blood clots containing oral bacteria have caused brain aneurysms, thromboses within arteries and leg veins, as well as heart attacks.
Atherosclerosis is a condition that is linked as one of the leading factors of a stroke, where plaques forms within the arteries’ walls making them harden over time, and narrow. These plaques are deposits of fat, cellular wastes, cholesterol, as well as other materials.
Having said that, these plaques can lose pieces and fall into the bloodstream, or attract clots. If this can affect an artery sending blood to a person’s brain, and ischemic stroke can be trigger.
When talking about implication around these results, Medical News Today revealed that the team did note that the mouth’s streptococci bacteria can result in a serious infection when entering circulation, like heart valves.
There is also proof that bacteria can trigger blood platelets directly as well. Could this be something that increases the risk around stroke as well?
Regardless, when it comes to the findings at hand, the study team did state that while the results do offer insight that oral bacteria are involved, it seems unclear if their roles is as a simple bystander, or that they do in fact help to cause strokes.
In the meantime, the team suggest proper dental care practices to help with the prevention of acute ischemic strokes.