You’ve seen how periodontal disease can lead to arthritis, but this oral condition can also lead to other serious health problems, including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, birth complications, heart problems, osteoporosis, certain cancers, and strokes.
May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and, therefore, the perfect time to explore just why gum disease can lead to an increased chance of strokes.
A stroke occurs for two reasons: when a ruptured blood vessel or impaired blood flow causes brain hemorrhaging, 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 through the mouth, stimulating blood clotting, damaging the lining of blood vessels, and increasing the risk of stroke.
Additionally, gum disease is twice as likely to cause strokes as it is to cause diabetes, and it is equally as likely to cause strokes as it is to cause high blood pressure.
Gum disease is present in the mouths of approximately 80 percent of American adults, yet many don’t even know they have it. It’s imperative that you have regular dental checkups and cleanings every 6 months so that I can screen for early signs of this disease and other oral health conditions.
I’m Dr. James Stewart, and I invite you to call my dental office in Livonia, Michigan, at (734) 425-4400 to schedule an appointment. My team and I look forward to keeping your smile healthy for years to come.