Strokes and Oral health

A stroke happens every 4 minutes in the US, and someone dies from it.  But, did you know that there might be a relationship between these? While it isn’t fully understood, here are a few connections that we’ve made regarding the two.

To understand the connection, you need to look at what a stroke is, and who has a high risk of having one. Strokes occur when the blood vessel within the brain bursts or there is a blood clot that is stopping oxygen from getting there, and if you have a stroke, it can cause drooping arms, weakness, slowed or impaired speech, and brain damage.  It happens to people over 65, African Americans who are twice as likely to suffer from a stroke, poor lifestyle choices including smoking, obesity, and suffering from diseases that result from them,

While these are all different means that can cause this, did you know that gum disease can connect to this too?

Gum disease affects more than 64 million Americans, which is half of the adult populace. ti’s created by an overgrowth of bacteria within the mouth, characterized by swollen, red gums that pull away from the tooth, easily bleed, and it can be slow, and it can also be rectified after a long time with the correct treatment.

The treatment is simple, and that is to keep up with good oral hygiene practices and follow the recommendations of the dentist, such as brushing twice daily, using floss and mouthwash daily, chewing gum that’s sugar free when you can’t brush, and also drinking water.

How are these connected though?

Well, the connection is inflammation. The growth of bacteria that’s associated with gum disease is a mouth infection, so this can get into the bloodstream, causing inflammation, the blood to clot, and a stroke. While it isn’t totally clear whether inflammation from gum disease results in this, there is studies that have been done that there is a clear link. It also can connect to other conditions such as diabetes, cancers, and even Alzheimers disease.

Because many Americans have been impacted by gum disease and stroke, it’s so important to understand the risks and ways that this prevents it. It is also important to stay on top of your oral care practices if you notice that a loved one has a stroke. Patients that have suffered strokes may need help in supporting or maintaining good oral health care, especially if they do have cognitive and physical limits that prevent it.  By taking preventative measures against it, you are lowering the risk for stroke, along with a lot of other diseases too.

you’d be surprised at how much of a difference this can ultimately make, but your oral health does matter, and you should take the time to better understand it by seeing a dentist today in order to help you with these issues, so that you too can have the perfect smile that is possible for you right now.