Stroke Risk and Gum Health
Posted by AESTHETIC DENTISTRY on Oct 20 2020, 10:50 AM
As we age, we are likely looking for ways to stay healthier and more youthful. From lotions and potions designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles to eating a healthier diet and exercising more, staving off the aging process is a multi-billion-dollar industry here in the United States. But one way to reduce the risk of diseases like stroke may be easier and more affordable than you think.
A recent study in The Hippocratic Post has revealed that the link between gum disease and stroke is closer than initially thought, too. It seems that those with gum disease are twice as likely to suffer a stroke than those who don’t have gum disease, and that’s a big problem.
"Gum disease can cause bone loss, tooth loss, and gum tissue loss, in addition to many other problems throughout the body," says dentist Dr. Martin Abelar of San Diego, California.
Abelar treats gum disease in his clinic and has seen firsthand the damage it can do, but the risk for other diseases makes gum disease more than just a mouth issue.
So, why do researchers believe that gum disease increases stroke risk? What is the connection?
"It’s believed to be due to changes in how oxygen and blood reach the brain," says Abelar. This could be because of the clogging of arteries with p. Gingivalis bacteria, the bacteria responsible for causing gum disease, or due to other reasons not revealed by the study.
Abelar says whatever the root cause, it’s important as we age to maintain our oral health, and if your current routine leaves something to be desired, it’s never too late to reverse some of the damage caused by poor oral health and hygiene.
"Gum disease can be reversible at its early stages by simply brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time, and by flossing at least once a day," Abelar. says "For more advanced gum disease, dental intervention is likely required, but this type of treatment is very common and very effective."
This is all good news for those looking to stave off not just the aging process, but also gum disease, stroke, and other illnesses including hypertension, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions are all worsened by the presence of gum disease.
"Another way to ensure your gums are protected is to get regular cleanings," says Abelar. "Removing that plaque that sits at your gumline is imperative to keeping the gums clean and healthy, too."