The Connection Between Gum Disease and Stroke
Posted May 19, 2011 by Wager-Evans Dental
At Wager Evans Dental, we believe in a strong connection between your oral health and your overall health. It’s clear that maintaining oral health is essential to optimal wellness, and this month is the perfect time to bring attention to one of the reasons this connection is so important.
The month of May is National Stroke Awareness Month. While you may wonder what stroke awareness is doing on a dental blog, it’s important to know that strokes are much more closely related to your oral health than you may have thought.
In addition to being linked to health issues like tooth loss, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s, gum disease is a leading risk factor for strokes.
Researchers have been trying to prove this connection for years, and, last month, the Seoul National University College of Dentistry in Seoul, North Korea, found that gum disease is twice as likely to cause strokes than it is to cause diabetes. Also, gum disease is equally as likely to cause strokes as it is to cause high blood pressure.
So, where does this connection come from? A stroke occurs when a ruptured blood vessel or impaired blood flow causes brain hemorrhaging (bleeding) or when a clot blocks a blood vessel. Dr. Wu, a stroke expert from the State University of New York at Buffalo, says that bacteria are to blame. Harmful bacteria enter the bloodstream from the mouth, stimulating blood clotting, damaging the lining of blood vessels, and increasing the risk of stroke.
The bottom line: take care of your dental health to reduce your risk of gum disease and stroke. The best way to protect yourself is by having regular dental exams and cleanings every six months and brushing and flossing daily at home.
We’re Dr. Brian Evans and Dr. William Wager, and the health and wellbeing of our patients is our top priority. We want to help you maintain optimal oral health and a high quality of life. For more information about gum disease, oral hygiene, or to schedule an appointment, call our dental office in Reno, Nevada, at (775) 800-4845.