What is a Stroke?
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and the leading cause of death in older Americans. It is estimated that an American suffers from stroke every 45 seconds. With one in four men and one in five women over the age of 45 suffering from a stroke, reducing your risk of having one is very important.
Stroke occurs when the blood vessels that supply the brain with oxygen are damaged or compromised. Restricting the brain of oxygen, even briefly, can result in a stroke. Strokes are widely feared because of their debilitating aftermath. Even minor or mini-strokes can result in life-altering consequences, such as paralysis, weakness, aphasia (losing the ability to speak, write, or understand language), and mental health changes.
Recent studies have shown that people with moderate to advanced periodontal disease are at a greater risk for having a stoke. One study published by the American Stroke Association in 2004 showed that patients with severe periodontitis, or gum disease, had a 4.3 times higher risk of stroke than those with mild or no periodontal disease. The bottom line is: If you have an infection in your mouth 24 hours a day for 7 days per week, then it is going to spread to your entire body!
New studies are released every year linking periodontal disease and stroke. The good news is that periodontal disease is preventable and treatable and is an easy way to eliminate one risk factor you may have for stroke.
If a dental professional does not treat these red and swollen gums, the condition can deteriorate to periodontal disease, which can attack the gums and bone surrounding the teeth and eventually lead to tooth loss. The natural space between your teeth and gums becomes infected. Pockets can form where bacteria thrive. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill believe that toxins are then released into the bloodstream, and the body reacts by producing chemicals that cause premature labor.
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