Dental infections are common and can be insidious. Infections originating in teeth can spread to other parts of the body and have a great effect on general health. An expert research group consisting of neurosurgeons, dentists, microbiologists, and coroners collected 36 samples of cerebral haemorrhages and made a unique discovery. Half of the specimens contained remains of dental infection bacteria, which could therefore be considered to contribute to the onset of ruptured intracranial aneurysms.
Previous studies have also shown that oral infections increase the risk of premature births, and may affect the risk of cardiovascular disease outbreaks. Even some artificial joint infections have been traced back to dental infections.
Mikko Pyysalo, Specialist Doctor of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases at the Tampere University Hospital in Finland and head of the research team says that people can carry infections that have originated in the mouth for up to 40 years unawares.
At the same time as research is making these bacterial connections clearer, Finland is looking to save on its healthcare expenditures. One option has been to cut back on dental care for adults. Mikko Pyysalo feels that decision-makers must be made aware of the extraordinary importance of good dental health and not see it as a separate or lesser component of overall health care.