University of Louisville study: Oral bacteria linked to risk of stroke

21 Feb

The Center for Dentistry lists the reasons that dental exams are important:
5 Major Health Threats That Your Dentist Can Predict

#1: Obesity
An increase in cavities could mean you’re eating too many unhealthy foods, which also puts you at risk for obesity. A dentist who knows your medical history may ask about your eating habits, but you should feel free to ask if what’s happening to your teeth might be a sign of other problems.

#2: Cardiovascular disease
It’s also possible for cavities themselves to threaten your heart, if the bacteria that produce them find their way into your cardiovascular system. Bacteria associated with tooth and gum disease may also be involved in stroke, diabetes, and respiratory problems—so brush and floss every day.

#3: Diabetes
The fermentable carbohydrates in sugary drinks and snacks loaded with carbs increase your blood sugar level drastically, raising the risk of type 2 diabetes.

#4: Cancer
Not only does a tooth-unhealthy diet put you at risk for obesity, which is a risk factor for certain cancers, harmful lifestyle habits like smoking can produce tooth discoloration and periodontal destruction. Abnormalities in your mouth, including bleeding gums and cavities, should be a natural alarm bell.

#5: Alzheimer’s disease
People who lost most of their teeth were more likely to develop dementia problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease, later on. It will take more research to clarify what the connection between tooth loss and brain health may be. But is seems that keeping your teeth as healthy possible has benefits that go far beyond your mouth. http://www.centerfordentistry.com/Blog/EntryId/1/Predicting-Health-Threats-through-Dental-Exams.aspx

A University of Louisville study found that there is a link between oral bacteria and stroke risk.

Science Daily reported in Oral bacteria linked to risk of stroke:

In a study of patients entering the hospital for acute stroke, researchers have increased their understanding of an association between certain types of stroke and the presence of the oral bacteria (cnm-positive Streptococcus mutans). Robert P. Friedland, M.D., the Mason C. and Mary D. Rudd Endowed Chair and Professor in Neurology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, was a co-author of the study, published online this month in Scientific Reports, a journal of the Nature Publishing Group.

In the single hospital study, researchers at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, Japan, observed stroke patients to gain a better understanding of the relationship between hemorrhagic stroke and oral bacteria. Among the patients who experienced intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), 26 percent were found to have a specific bacterium in their saliva, cnm-positive S. mutans. Among patients with other types of stroke, only 6 percent tested positive for the bacterium.

Strokes are characterized as either ischemic strokes, which involve a blockage of one or more blood vessels supplying the brain, or hemorrhagic strokes, in which blood vessels in the brain rupture, causing bleeding.

The researchers also evaluated MRIs of study subjects for the presence of cerebral microbleeds (CMB), small brain hemorrhages which may cause dementia and also often underlie ICH. They found that the number of CMBs was significantly higher in subjects with cnm-positive S. mutans than in those without.

The authors hypothesize that the S. mutans bacteria may bind to blood vessels weakened by age and high blood pressure, causing arterial ruptures in the brain, leading to small or large hemorrhages.

“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 and their heart as well as their teeth,” Friedland said. “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….” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160216181715.htm

Citation:

Oral bacteria linked to risk of stroke
Brain researchers demonstrate the importance of oral health in stroke
Date: February 16, 2016
Source: University of Louisville
Summary:
In a study of patients entering the hospital for acute stroke, researchers have increased their understanding of an association between certain types of stroke and the presence of the oral bacteria (cnm-positive Streptococcus mutans).

Journal Reference:
1. Shuichi Tonomura, Masafumi Ihara, Tomohiro Kawano, Tomotaka Tanaka, Yoshinori Okuno, Satoshi Saito, Robert P. Friedland, Nagato Kuriyama, Ryota Nomura, Yoshiyuki Watanabe, Kazuhiko Nakano, Kazunori Toyoda, Kazuyuki Nagatsuka. Intracerebral hemorrhage and deep microbleeds associated with cnm-positive Streptococcus mutans; a hospital cohort study. Scientific Reports, 2016; 6: 20074 DOI: 10.1038/srep20074

Here is the press release from the University of Louisville:

Oral bacteria linked to risk of stroke

by Betty Coffman, HSC communications and marketing — last modified Feb 16, 2016 11:37 AM

In a study of patients entering the hospital for acute stroke, researchers have increased their understanding of an association between certain types of stroke and the presence of the oral bacteria (cnm-positive Streptococcus mutans).

Robert P. Friedland, M.D., the Mason C. and Mary D. Rudd Endowed Chair and Professor in Neurology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, was a co-author of the study, published online this month in Scientific Reports, a journal of the Nature Publishing Group.
In the single hospital study, researchers at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, Japan, observed stroke patients to gain a better understanding of the relationship between hemorrhagic stroke and oral bacteria. Among the patients who experienced intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), 26 percent were found to have a specific bacterium in their saliva, cnm-positive S. mutans. Among patients with other types of stroke, only 6 percent tested positive for the bacterium.

Strokes are characterized as either ischemic strokes, which involve a blockage of one or more blood vessels supplying the brain, or hemorrhagic strokes, in which blood vessels in the brain rupture, causing bleeding.

The researchers also evaluated MRIs of study subjects for the presence of cerebral microbleeds (CMB), small brain hemorrhages which may cause dementia and also often underlie ICH. They found that the number of CMBs was significantly higher in subjects with cnm-positive S. mutans than in those without.

The authors hypothesize that the S. mutans bacteria may bind to blood vessels weakened by age and high blood pressure, causing arterial ruptures in the brain, leading to small or large hemorrhages.

“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 and their heart as well as their teeth,” Friedland said. “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.”

Multiple research studies have shown a close association between the presence of gum disease and heart disease, and a 2013 publication by Jan Potempa, Ph.D., D.Sc., of the UofL School of Dentistry, revealed how the bacterium responsible for gum disease worsens rheumatoid arthritis.

The cnm-negative S. mutans bacteria is found in approximately 10 percent of the general population, Friedland says, and is known to cause dental cavities (tooth decay). Friedland also is researching the role of oral bacteria in other diseases affecting the brain.
“We are investigating the role of oral and gut bacteria in the initiation of pathology in the neurodegenerative disorders Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s with collaborators in the United Kingdom and Japan.”
http://louisville.edu/uofltoday/campus-news/oral-bacteria-linked-to-risk-of-stroke

The American Dental Association not only provides information about dental care, but advocates for the inclusion of dental care in medical plans.

According to the American Dental Association:

Why Oral Health Matters

Numerous recent scientific studies indicate associations between oral health and a variety of general health conditions — including diabetes and heart disease. In response, the World Health Organization has integrated oral health into its chronic disease prevention efforts “as the risks to health are linked.”

The American Dental Association recommends that dental visits begin no later than a child’s first birthday to establish a “dental home.” Dentists can provide guidance to children and parents, deliver preventive oral health services, and diagnose and treat dental disease in its earliest stages. This ongoing dental care will help both children and adults maintain optimal oral health throughout their lifetimes.

Dentists’ areas of care include not only their patients’ teeth and gums but also the muscles of the head, neck and jaw, the tongue, salivary glands, the nervous system of the head and neck and other areas.

Improving the Nation’s Oral Health

Despite all we know about the importance of oral health to overall health, to people’s self-esteem and to their employability, state and federal policies continually sell dental care short.

• Most states spend 2 percent or less of their Medicaid budgets on dental services.
• An estimated 164 million work hours are lost each year due to oral disease.

The American Dental Association is committed to improving the nation’s oral health through public education and through legislative advocacy to strengthen funding for dental services provided through public health programs…. http://www.ada.org/en/about-the-ada/dentists-doctors-of-oral-health

The goal of comprehensive medical plans should be to include dental and vision coverage.

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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