A new study has revealed a relationship between chronic periodontitis and lacunar infarct, two common diseases in the elderly. Chronic periodontitis is an inflammatory disease of the gums, whereas lacunar infarct is a type of cerebral small-vessel disease that can lead to a stroke.
It is hypothesized that periodontitis leads to systemic inflammation and, as a result, the health of the blood vessels could be affected. On the other hand, chronic periodontitis and lacunar infarct may share common vascular risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
People diagnosed with periodontal disease had about a 4-fold increased risk of developing lacunar stroke compared to those without periodontitis. Periodontal treatment may decrease systemic inflammation and, therefore, it may reduce the risk of developing lacunar infarct.
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