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Great Oral Health May Prevent Stroke

Dr Martin Abelar - August 31, 2021 - 0 comments

An estimated 795,000 Americans have a stroke each year. A stroke is an event in which the blood supply to the brain is prevented or reduced, causing oxygen and nutrients to be blocked from entering the brain. While it is not known what exactly causes stroke, researchers are working hard to find more answers to hopefully prevent these serious and sometimes deadly events from occurring.
We already know that sleep apnea can increase your odds of having a stroke, but a new study by researchers at Prisma Health has found a possible connection between oral health and stroke. The connection lies with periodontal disease, a condition where the gums become inflamed from an infection of bacteria. This can cause puffy gums, bleeding while brushing, tooth sensitivity, gum tissue loss, and even bone and tooth loss.
Now researchers are discovering that periodontal disease may also cause stroke, by way of a condition called atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that can cause the risk of stroke. Patients with atrial fibrillation are often found to have periodontal disease.
While it is unclear if the atrial fibrillation could be caused by periodontitis inflammation or if other factors are at play, what is clear is that patients with atrial fibrillation and periodontitis are at a higher risk of having a stroke. The scary part is, people with periodontitis often do not know they even have periodontitis until they see their dentist, because the symptoms can be easily overlooked or not noticed at all.
The good news is that when it comes to periodontitis, this oral health illness is completely preventable and easily treat! Brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time, flossing at least once per day, using a mouthwash, and attending twice-annual or annual dental appointments each year can help keep your teeth and gums healthy and lower your risk of having a stroke.
If you are concerned about your stroke risk, speak to your primary care physician. For all of your oral health concerns, Dr. Abelar is here to help. If you notice anything out of the ordinary with your teeth or gums, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Abelar’s office today, and don’t forget to schedule your annual or bi-annual dental appointment.

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