You may be wondering how having a stroke could have anything to do with your mouth. Your oral and overall health has a lot more in common than you think. Recent research has uncovered connections between gum disease, an oral bacterial infection, and health problems such as cardiovascular disease, oral cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and now, strokes. Now, it’s more important than ever to take keep up with your oral hygiene and see your dentist to help defend yourself against gum disease in Charlottesville. Read on to learn the connection between strokes and gum disease and how to reduce your risk.
What Is A Stroke?
Every 4 minutes, 1 person in America dies from a stroke, making it the number 5 cause of death and the top cause of disability in the United States. Strokes can occur when a blood clot blocks a vessel that carries oxygen to your brain. It can also occur when one of these blood vessels bursts. Some health factors that can increase your risk of experiencing a stroke include heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
What Is Gum Disease?
1 out of every 2 American adults has gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease. This bacterial infection of the gums causes irritation, inflammation, and bleeding, and is typically caused by poor oral hygiene. When harmful oral bacteria and plaque are left to accumulate, it can cause gingivitis. When left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis. When this disease isn’t treated early, it progresses and becomes incurable—you can just get treatment to ease the discomfort of the symptoms.
What Is The Link Between Both?
When harmful oral bacteria are left to build up, they can release inflammation-causing toxins that can get into your bloodstream and travel throughout your body. In 2004, a study conducted in Germany found that gum disease patients have an increased risk of having an ischemic stroke. These are the most commonly occurring strokes that happen when a blood vessel becomes blocked, preventing oxygen from getting to the brain.
Another study from Greece in 2012 also showed that patients that have gum disease have a higher risk of experiencing a stroke. The researchers stated that more studies should be done to confirm these findings. Stroke and gum disease are both associated with inflammation. With so many people affected by both of these health issues, it’s never been more important to acknowledge the connection between them.
Knowing the facts about both of these issues can help you make necessary hygiene changes to protect your oral and overall health. Brushing twice a day and flossing can help your body’s defense system fight off these inflammation-causing bacteria. The best way to ease your worries is to visit your dentist in Charlottesville for your semi-annual visits. With this new research, it’s never been so important to take care of your mouth!
About the Author
Dr. Hal Lippard has been serving his community of Charlottesville for over 20 years. He keeps up with the latest advancements in his field by continuing his education so he can give his patients the highest quality of care. As a member of the Academy of General Dentistry and the Charlottesville-Albemarle Dental Association, he provides his patients with trustworthy treatment. For questions or to schedule an appointment for a semi-annual checkup and cleaning, visit his website or contact 434-293-9311.