New KCL study reveals link between gum disease and stroke in young patients

Researchers from King’s College London and the University of Helsinki have identified a link between periodontitis (gum disease) and cryptogenic ischemic
stroke, which causes a blockage in the blood vessel supplying blood to a region of the brain.

The findings, recently published in the Journal of Dental Research, emphasise severe gum disease as a risk factor for young-onset stroke, particularly in
patients with no other identifiable risk factors.

Dr. Susanna Paju, Periodontology Specialist from the University of Helsinki, led the study in collaboration with Dr. Svetislav Zaric, Clinical Lecturer in
Periodontology from King’s College London. Dr. Zaric explains the implications of their research:

“Stroke remains the second leading cause of death globally. Strikingly, the incidence and prevalence of ischemic stroke have been increasing in the younger
population during past decades,” she said.

“Periodontitis, which involves deep inflammation of the gums due to bacteria under the gumline, can lead to systemic effects as bacteria enter the bloodstream
and affect other parts of the body,” she added.