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Periodontal Treatment Lowers Stroke Risk
April 2, 2013

By Nancy Volkers
InteliHealth News Service

INTELIHEALTH - In people with periodontal disease, dental cleanings and periodontal treatment reduce the risk for stroke, a study says.

The study was done in Taiwan. It used information collected between 2000 and 2010. Researchers looked at information about more than 510,000 people with periodontal disease and compared them with more than 208,000 people without periodontal disease.

Some people with periodontal disease received dental cleanings. Others had treatment for periodontal disease. Some got no cleanings and no treatment.

Compared with people who had no periodontal disease:

  • People with periodontal disease who had dental cleanings had a 22% lower risk for stroke.
  • People with periodontal disease who had treatment for the disease had a 9% lower risk for stroke.
  • People with periodontal disease who had no cleanings and no treatment had a 15% higher risk for stroke. Younger people—between ages 20 and 44—had more than double the risk for stroke.

Periodontal disease has been linked with an increased risk for stroke in other studies, but other studies have not found a link. In 2012, a Japanese group found that a group of stroke patients had higher levels of certain antibodies in their blood. These antibodies were produced by the immune system to fight the bacteria that cause periodontal disease. A 2012 review of 13 studies found an increased risk for stroke in people with periodontal disease.

However, in June 2012, an expert committee of American Heart Association members found no association between periodontal disease and stroke.

The Taiwan study appears in the April issue of the journal Stroke.

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