For many years, dentists have been advising patients about proper oral health care regimes. Most dentists have explained the direct link between gum disease and other overall health issues such as diabetes. However, a recent study done through the International Dental Health Foundation, found that patients with gum disease are at a higher risk of having a stroke, than diabetes. Even though obesity and smoking are commonly associated with an increased risk of suffering a stroke, many people may not know about the risks associated with oral health.
Gums are very vascular (this means that they are full of blood vessels), and your mouth is full of bacteria. If the gum layer gets disrupted – even in the slightest bit – bacteria will go into your bloodstream, triggering inflammation throughout your body. Inflammation can damage the blood vessels, including those of the heart. By hardening your arteries, inflammation hinders the normal flow of blood through the veins and heart, putting you at a much greater risk of a stroke.
Bacterial infections cause the body to be at an increased risk of developing blood clots which cause the development of a stroke. Preventing gum disease by brushing, flossing and regular dental visits can dramatically reduce your risk of having a stroke.
If you are experiencing any oral difficulties, or if you would like an oral examination to ensure that you do not have periodontal disease, contact a dentist in Cape Town for a full dental health check and a thorough cleaning of your teeth.