A new study has shown a relationship between chronic periodontitis (gum disease) and lacunar infarct which both impact the eldery. Chronic periodontitis is an inflammatory disease of the gums while lacunar infarct is a type of cerebral small vessel disease that has the possibility of leading to a stroke.
Researchers hypothesize that periodontitis leads to systemic inflammation and the health of the blood vessels can be affected. Furthermore, chronic periodontitis and lacunar infarct may share some common vascular risk factors such as high cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes.
The researchers observed that people diagnosed with periodontal disease had roughly a 4-fold increased risk of developing lacunar stroke compared to those without periodontitis. The researchers feel further interventional studies should be performed to assess the potential benefit of periodontal therapy in patients with lacunar stroke and periodontitis. Periodontal treatment may also decrease systemic inflammation and may reduce the risk of developing lacunar infarct.
There have been several posts before on this blog discussion periodontitis. See for example http://blog.teethremoval.com/blueberry-extract-could-help-treat-periodontitis/, http://blog.teethremoval.com/oral-bacteria-that-causes-periodontitis-delievers-a-one-two-punch/, and http://blog.teethremoval.com/patients-with-moderate-to-severe-periodontitis-need-to-be-evaluated-for-cardiovascular-problems/.
So the bottom line is that you should keep your mouth healthy and regularly see a dentist for examinations and cleanings. For those who have gum disease it it is important to get treated to help reduce cardiovascular problems like lucunar infarct.
Y. Leira, I. López-Dequidt, S. Arias, M. Rodríguez-Yáñez, R. Leira, T. Sobrino, F. Campos, M. Blanco, J. Blanco, J. Castillo. Chronic periodontitis is associated with lacunar infarct: a case-control study. European Journal of Neurology, 2016