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Dental infections thought to cause brain aneurysms

By Dental Tribune International
January 09, 2014

TAMPERE, Finland: While bacterial infections have been associated with a number of serious medical conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, their role in cerebrovascular disorders has not been fully understood to date. Now, researchers from Finland have suggested that infections due to oral and pharyngeal bacteria could be a risk factor for ruptured intracranial aneurysms.

In the study, the researchers obtained 36 ruptured aneurysm specimens through aneurysm clipping operations (29) and by autopsy (7), which were examined for the presence of bacterial DNA from various oral species.

The researchers found bacterial DNA in 21 specimens. According to the study, DNA from endodontic bacteria was detected in 20 specimens and from periodontal bacteria in 17 of the samples. Bacterial DNA of the Streptococcus mitis group, which has also been linked to endocarditis, was found to be the most common. Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Fusobacterium nucleatum and Treponema denticola were the three most common periodontal pathogens.

According to the researchers, the study is the first to provide evidence that dental infections could be associated with intracranial aneurysm disease and the rupture of brain aneurysms in particular.

The study, titled “The connection between ruptured cerebral aneurysms and odontogenic bacteria,” was published in the November 2013 issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. It was conducted by researchers at the University of Tampere in collaboration with the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio.

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