Scientists at Tampere University analyzed the cerebral emboli (blood clots) of stroke patients’ brains and made an astonishing discovery. For the first time, they discovered DNA from oral pathogens in the cerebral clots.
The findings of the research were published in the May 2019 issue of the prestigious Journal of American Heart Association, reported Science Daily.
When stroke patients came into Emergency Rooms for treatment, neurointerventional radiologists removed the pesky clots known as thrombus aspirates from 75 of these stroke patients. The thrombus aspirates samples were analyzed by the scientists who discovered that 79% of the aspirates contained oral bacterial DNA in them. The samples were analyzed following the duplication of the bacterial DNA.
Tampere University is involved in the study of the consequences of bacterial infection in the development of cardiovascular diseases over the past ten years. Their study is a part of this research project. An older study discovered the same odontogenic bacteria in the coronary artery stenoses of patients who seemed to have suddenly died.
These bacteria were also present in samples taken from:
- Blood clot blockages and arterial blood of myocardial infarction patients
- Ruptured weak cerebral blood vessels and blood clot blockages of patients with lower limb arterial and venous thrombosis
Most of these blood clots (thrombi) originate in the carotid artery stenoses of the circulatory system. As blood circulates all the time, the clots break off and travel to block circulation in delicate cerebral arteries. In fact, 87 % of the strokes are caused due to cerebral artery thrombosis.
The new study has discovered a copious amount of viridans streptococcus DNA in cerebral thrombi when compared against normal blood samples taken from the same patient. Viridans Streptococcus is a commonly found oral bacteria. It is completely harmless when present in the oral cavity. However, when streptococci enter the circulatory system, they may cause infection in the cardiac valves, among other things. The bacterium also tends to directly bind with various platelet receptors, thereby enabling more blood clots to form in the bloodstream.
If this research doesn’t encourage you to maintain your oral health and practice good dental hygiene, nothing else will. Untreated dental infections can have a severe effect on your overall health and even cause loss of life. Get your dental problems addressed as soon as possible to lead a healthier and longer life.
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