30 May Can Poor Oral Health Lead to a Stroke?
We recently recognized Stroke Awareness Month, and today we are taking a look at one of the lesser known factors associated with a stroke–your oral health! It’s common knowledge that risk factors like high “bad” cholesterol and hypertension are associated with an increased risk of experiencing a stroke. But did you know that gum disease is also linked to strokes?
When mild forms of gum disease are left untreated they develop into a very severe form of gum disease known as periodontitis, which can lead to a number of issues including inflammation, loss of teeth, and infection. When your oral cavity experiences inflammation or infection, the rest of your body is also affected. Bacteria in the gums can enter your bloodstream and become part of the fatty plaques in blood vessels that are associated with stroke and heart disease. Inflammation can also cause blood vessels to swell, leading to high blood pressure which can lead to stroke.
Practicing good oral hygiene habits and regular trips to the dentist for check-ups can help prevent gum disease and other oral health issues. Quitting smoking in addition to following good oral health habits and visiting the dentist regularly can also reduce your chance of suffering a stroke. For more information on the associations between your oral health and stroke, click here. To schedule a checkup with one of our dentists, request your appointment here.