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Mund Kiefer Gesichtschir. 1998 Nov;2(6):316-9.

[Odontogenic focus as the etiology of cerebral ischemia].

[Article in German]

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Klinik und Poliklinik für Mund-, Kiefer-, Gesichtschirurgie, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg.


Recent studies have shown that acute infections, especially of the respiratory tract, are an important risk factor for cerebral ischemia. Additionally we know that chronic dental infections may be a risk for myocardial infarction and artherosclerosis. However, the connection between stroke and dental infections has hardly been examined so far. Therefore we performed a case-control study using a standardized questionaire and examination. We investigated 66 patients consecutive to a acute cerebral ischemia/stroke and 60 age- and sex-matched nonstroke neurological patients as a control group. Dental status was determined by a so called total dental index (TDI) which reflects primarily caries, periodontitis, periapical lesions, devital and missing teeth as well as by a panoramic index (PI). Specifically, older patients with cerebrovascular ischemia tended to have a significantly worse dental status and had more severe periodontitis and periapical lesions than control subjects. A predefined poor dental status was associated with cerebrovascular ischemia independent from other vascular risk factors and social status. In conclusion, poor dental health, mainly resulting from chronic dental infections, may be associated with an increased risk for cerebrovascular ischemia. The results must now be verified in larger studies. As chronic dental infections are a common and also easily treatable factor, their identification as a risk factor for stroke would be quite important in the field of preventive medicine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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