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stroke and oral health

Stroke and Oral Health: Is There A Link Between Them?

Stroke kills someone in the United States every four minutes! We can’t help but wonder if there is a link between stroke and dental health as we learn more about how our mouth health affects our entire health.


Oral Health


Stroke: An Overview

To comprehend the link between stroke and dental health, it is necessary to first comprehend what a stroke is and who is at a higher risk of experiencing one. When a blood artery in the brain bursts or a blood clot prevents oxygen from reaching the brain, a stroke ensues. Physical symptoms of a stroke include a drooping face, arm weakness, and slurred or impaired speech. While everyone of any age can have a stroke, some categories of people are at a higher risk:

  • People 65 and up – the risk of a stroke rises with age, with the majority of stroke victims being 65 and over.
  • African Americans – African Americans are twice as likely as Caucasians to have a stroke, and they are the group most likely to die from one.
  • Those making poor lifestyle choices – Sedentary behaviour, smoking, obesity, and the disorders that can emerge from these behaviours (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes) have all been linked to stroke.

Wicker Park Dental Patients who have had a stroke are more likely to have poor oral hygiene and oral health, according to recent studies. Gum disease is almost always the outcome of inadequate dental hygiene.



Gum Disease: An Overview

Gum disease affects over half of the adult population in the United States, or 64 million people. It is a perfectly preventable condition caused by a bacterial overgrowth in the mouth. Gum disease has numerous phases and may often be controlled with adequate treatment. It is characterised by red, puffy gums that have pushed away from the tooth and can easily bleed.

Brushing twice a day, flossing and mouth washing daily, eating sugar-free gum between meals when brushing isn’t an option, and seeing your Wicker Park Dentist at least twice a year for regular check-ups are the best ways to avoid gum disease.

So, what’s the link between stroke and gum disease?

Gum Disease and Stroke: Is There a Link?

Inflammation is the main relationship between gum disease and stroke. An infection of the mouth is caused by the excess of bacteria associated with gum disease. Unfortunately, this bacterial infection can enter the bloodstream, producing inflammation and increasing the risk of blood clotting, which can result in a stroke.

While it’s unclear if gum disease causes vascular inflammation (which has been linked to heart disease and stroke) or the other way around, studies show there is a correlation. Gum disease has been related to diabetes, various malignancies, and possibly Alzheimer’s disease due to the inflammation associated with it.



Oral Health and Stroke

Because so many people in the United States are affected by both gum disease and stroke, it’s critical to understand the dangers and how to avoid them. If you or one of your loved one has suffered a stroke, it is more important than ever to practise good dental hygiene. Patients who have had a stroke may require assistance in maintaining adequate oral health care, particularly if they have cognitive or physical impairments that make it difficult for them to remember to complete or perform chores correctly.

You can lower the risk of stroke and other disorders by practising good oral hygiene and taking preventive measures against gum disease. The team at Urban Smiles Chicago is here to assist you in your endeavours. Urban Smiles Wicker Park is delighted to accept most major PPO insurance plans, collaborate with third-party Wicker Park dental group financing firms like CareCredit, and accept a variety of payment methods, including cash, check, and most major credit cards, in order to do so.


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