The Association Between Gum Disease and Strokes

Your mouth’s health affects the health of your body. Research indicates that adults with gum disease have a higher risk of an ischemic stroke. Periodontal disease has also been associated with heart disease and diabetes. Let’s take a look at how gum disease influences your overall well-being.

Gingivitis and periodontitis are disorders of the gums. It occurs when plaque and tartar build up on your teeth. The signs of gum disease include:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Gums pulling away from the teeth

 

How Gum Disease Can Lead to Stroke

When your gums are infected, it causes an inflammation of the blood vessels in response to the bacteria. Less blood is able to flow through the body, which raises your blood pressure. Other types of bacteria can enter your bloodstream through your gums and the bacteria becomes part of the fatty plaques in your blood vessels. When these fatty plaques break off of the walls of the blood vessels, it can travel to the brain and cut off the blood supply, causing a stroke. (The fatty plaques can also block blood vessels leading to the heart and can cause a heart attack.)

More research is needed to fully understand the relationship between stroke and oral health, but it is generally accepted that people with good oral health have fewer chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. A periodontist can help you assess your level of gum disease and provide you with treatment options to reduce your risk of problems not only with your teeth, but with your general health.

Contact Us Today

Make an appointment with one of Dr. Cueva’s offices in Allen, TX and Frisco, TX today to get treatment before your dental problems become more expensive and time-consuming to repair. Periodontal disease is treatable and preventable with the help of a periodontist. Many adults suffer from gum disease. We’d like to help you have a healthy mouth and beautiful smile. 

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