The research, led by Santiago’s doctor Yago Lira, showed that suffering from periodontitis, a disease that affects the gums, is at an increased risk of suffering from ischemic stroke and Alzheimer’s-type dementia.
The study, prepared by the Spanish Society of Periodontics and the Spanish Society of Neurology under the coordination of a periodontist and IDIS researcher, relates that the chronic and persistent inflammation caused by this disease increases the likelihood of suffering neurological complications over the years.
Doctor. “People with periodontitis may have almost twice the risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s and three times the risk of suffering from ischemic stroke,” said Yago Lira. Evidence of its association with gum infection.
Periodontitis is a gum infection that damages the soft tissue surrounding the teeth and can even destroy bone. According to IDIS, it is estimated that eight out of ten adult Spaniards may suffer from it.
Thus, the research led by Lira suggests that using patients with periodontitis as a risk marker “is of great help in avoiding, preventing or reducing the effects of neurological disorders of this type.”
Studies point to chronic inflammation as a trigger for negative outcomes at the neurological level, which, in addition, can affect “target organs” that compromise cardiovascular health or diabetes.
According to the researchers, in stroke, periodontitis would trigger a prothrombotic state of hypercoagulability and vascular endothelial dysfunction, which increase the risk of cerebral thrombosis, as a chronic immunoinflammatory response.
In the case of Alzheimer’s, persistent low-grade inflammation and bacteria produced during infection contribute to the neurodegenerative process and cognitive dysfunction.