Finnish researchers at the University of Tampere have new findings that show the presence of common oral bacteria in cerebral emboli for the first time. The article that documents their findings, “Oral Bacterial Signatures in Cerebral Thrombi of Patients With Acute Ischemic Stroke Treated With Thrombectomy,” focuses on the association between infection-causing oral bacteria and ischemic strokes.
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The Journal of the American Heart Association published the research article on June 4, 2019.
An ischemic stroke occurs when the major blood vessels to the brain are blocked. Cerebral emboli are blood clots that break free from a blood vessel blockage and travel through the bloodstream to the brain. Clot removal, whether with medication or by mechanical treatment such as an endovascular procedure or a thrombectomy, is the way an ischemic stroke is treated.
It has been estimated that between 500 and 700 kinds of bacteria can live in the human mouth. Streptococcus species are common in the oral cavities of both healthy people and people who have periodontitis. Following trauma or dental procedures such as root canals or tooth extraction, oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and remain there up to a few hours but do not normally cause problems for healthy individuals.