When you think of chronic diseases that lead to strokes you probably think of high blood pressure or diabetes. But did you know that advanced gum disease not only raises your risk of developing heart issues and diabetes but also puts you at a higher risk for experiencing a stroke? Your dentist in Marietta is concerned about our local patient’s disregard for gum disease. In recognition of American Stroke Awareness Month, Elite Dentistry wants to shed more light on this “mouth-body connection,” or basically how important it is to maintain good oral health to avoid serious health problems like gum disease and strokes.
What’s gum disease?
Gum disease begins foods along with other dangerous bacteria in your mouth builds up along and under the gum line. Plaque, a sticky film-like substance, sits on top of your teeth, gums, and tongue and hardens over time if it’s not removed—creating harmful tartar. It can cause infections and inflammation that deteriorate your healthy teeth, gums, and jawbone. Some signs of gum disease include:
- Loose permanent teeth
- Chronic bad breath
- Bleeding gums
- Inflamed gums
- Receding gums
What’s a stroke?
The most common type of stroke happens when a (or multiple) blood vessel that normally feeds the brain gets blocked. Typically, this happens from a blood clot or inflammation. When your normal blood flow is stopped, brain cells die. Your body reacts by then shutting down critical body functions like walking, talking, moving normally. Signs of a stroke are:
- Face drooping or numbness on one side
- Arm weakness on one side
- Speech difficulty (slurring, inability to speak, or inability to understand speech)
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty swallowing
- Involuntary eye movements
- Loss of balance or coordination
Mouth-Body-Connection: How are gum disease and strokes related?
One of the biggest indicators of gum disease is the inflammation it causes. When your gums become inflamed, especially in gum disease’s advanced stages, your gum line will begin to recede. This allows dangerous dental bacteria, foods, and other harmful debris to enter below the gum line and send toxins into your blood stream. These toxins create inflammation in the body that can cause swelling and blockage in the blood vessels that allow your brain to communicate with the rest of your body effectively.
How can you avoid gum disease?
Practicing good dental hygiene is a major part of preventing gum disease. Brushing twice a day and flossing will help keep your mouth free of harmful dental debris. Another important part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums is visiting your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleanings. If it’s been a while since your last dental appointment, don’t just google “dentist near me,” contact Elite Dentistry.
Visit Elite Dentistry to Maintain Healthy Gums
Even if we discover that you have early—or advanced—gum disease, we have the advanced technology to reverse your decline in oral health. We offer scaling, root planing, antibiotic therapy, laser treatments, and oral surgery to get your smile back in its healthiest shape. Our dental office understands what risks you’re up against with unhealthy gums. Visit our office to stay two steps ahead of gum disease.