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Gum disease may cause strokes more often than diabetes
Updated: 4/6/2011 7:00:07 PM

Individuals who have gum disease may be more likely to suffer from a stroke Chronic gum infection may be a more frequent cause of non-fatal ischematic strokes than diabetes and carries a risk of the condition similar to that of high blood pressure, according to a recent study that was conducted by researchers at the British Dental Health Foundation.

Results from a survey of 143 stroke patients showed that individuals are two times more likely to suffer from a stroke as a consequence of gum disease than of diabetes. Even higher risks were found among those who had the oral condition in addition to other risk factors such as tobacco use, poor diet or obesity, according to the investigators.

"This research is significant because it helps to quantify the importance of oral health compared to other risk factors. The findings are startling," dentist Nigel Carter told Medical News Today.

He explained that the negative effects of periodontal disease can be avoided if individuals brush their teeth two times per day for two-minute sessions and regularly floss.

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, nearly 9 percent of American adults suffer from gum disease. Some symptoms of the ailment include gum soreness, bleeding or pain when a person chews food.

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