At the 89th International Association for Dental Research, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation Dr. Nigel Carter presented surprising research examining periodontal disease and risk for stroke.
This new research concluded that patients with periodontal disease have twice the risk of stroke than patients with diabetes. Data suggests periodontal disease incites about the same risk of having an ischemic stroke as high blood pressure, long thought to be the biggest indicator for future risk of stroke.
“This research is significant because it helps to quantify the importance of oral health compared to other risk factors,” said Dr. Carter. “The findings are startling. The fact that high blood pressure carries a similar risk to gum disease is in itself a significant finding. The other finding which shows that gum disease nearly doubles the risk of non-fatal strokes, compared to diabetes, is totally unexpected.”
That periodontal disease is cited as this paramount in predicting risk for stroke is a big step forward in the movement toward oral-systemic healthcare. As more and more research like this is released, the dental and medical communities are paying even closer attention to the mouth’s role in systemic inflammation and disease.