Tuesday, June 25, 2019

More Oral-Systemic Connection Evidence? Mouth Bacteria Found in Stroke Victim Brain Clots


I recently came across some truly interesting info and stats regarding the interconnection of the mouth, the organisms found there, and the impact they have on the rest of the body.  This area has come to be known as the “oral-systemic connection” with experts and researchers discovering more and greater links.

Now a Finnish research group has found that the brains of people who have had strokes have bacteria commonly found in the mouth inside the clots that caused the stroke.  The group has been investigating this possible link for over 10 years and have now published their findings in the May 23 issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association.  

The investigators examined the blockages of 75 patients who had suffered an ischemic stroke.  They discovered that 63 of the 75 patients (84%) had bacterial DNA in their clot.Among those, 59 had a stain of streptococci commonly in the mouth that can cause infections if they are released into the bloodstream.  These bacteria are the ones that can cause endocarditis which is a serious infection of the heart, including its valves, muscle, and lining.

This study is the "first to show common presence of [this] bacterial DNA in ischemic stroke patients,” according to the lead author of the study.

Obviously inflamed gum tissues can lead to bleeding which then can result in bacteria from the mouth entering the bloodstream.  It now appears possible that this bacterial loading of the bloodstream could very well contribute to the accumulation of plaque buildups in the walls of blood vessels.  This causes blood vessels to narrow which can lead to high blood pressure or, more seriously, can narrow the vessels to the point that the tissues they feed become starved of oxygen and nutrients which can lead to tissue death.  Narrowing and blockage of vessels in the heart is what causes a heart attack (myocardial infarction) or in the brain an ischemic stroke (which are around 87% of all strokes).

The data indicates this is one more link to the “oral-systemic connection” and could very well mean that healthier mouth and gums leads to overall greater health of the cardiovascular system.

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