With strokes becoming one of the leading causes of death among men and women globally, it is increasingly important to understand the potential risks associated with developing a stroke. While many people think of stroke prevention in terms of lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise, did you know that oral health can also increase or decrease your risk for a stroke? This article will discuss the connection between oral health and strokes, including common risk factors, warning signs, and ways to reduce your chances of experiencing a stroke.
Common Risk Factors
Research has shown that there are certain oral health factors that can increase your risk for a stroke. These include issues such as gum disease, cavities, missing teeth, and dental plaque build-up. In addition to these physical issues, neglecting to visit the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings can also put you at greater risk for developing a stroke.
There are certain warning signs that may indicate an increased risk of stroke due to poor oral health. These symptoms may include but are not limited to; bleeding gums, bad breath or a sour taste in the mouth, cold and/or hot sensitivity in the teeth, and difficulty chewing or speaking.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of stroke due to poor oral health. First, it is important to visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings; this will help to ensure any issues are caught early and addressed promptly before they become more serious. Additionally, it’s important to brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, floss every day, and use mouthwash as needed. Lastly, avoid smoking or using other tobacco products, as these can increase your risk for a stroke due to their effects on oral health.
What are the Long-Term Effects of Poor Oral Health?
Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, a chronic infection in the gums caused by bacteria. This can have serious long-term effects, such as an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and tooth loss.
Untreated cavities and gum disease can lead to tooth loss over time; this not only reduces self-confidence but also increases your risk for a stroke due to plaque build-up inside the arteries.
Dental Plaque Build-Up
If left unchecked, tartar (hardened dental plaque) can build up on the teeth and increase your risk for a stroke due to the blockage of blood vessels.
It is essential to maintain good oral health, as neglecting it can put you at greater risk of developing a stroke. Regular visits to the dentist, proper brushing and flossing, and avoiding tobacco products can all help to reduce your chances of experiencing a stroke due to poor oral health.
A: Warning signs may include but are not limited to; bleeding gums, bad breath or a sour taste in the mouth, cold and hot sensitivity in the teeth, and difficulty chewing or speaking.
A: It is recommended to get a dental checkup every six months to ensure any issues are caught early and treated promptly.
A: Regular visits to the dentist, brushing and flossing twice daily, and avoiding tobacco products are all important ways to reduce your risk for stroke due to poor oral health.