The Surprising Link Between Gum Disease and Strokes

May is National Stroke Awareness Month, so now is a great time to ensure you are doing all you can to cut your risk. Approximately 15 million people around the world suffer strokes each year, but there are some things that reduce the likelihood, including:

  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Taking prescribed heart and blood pressure medications as ordered
  • Exercising regularly
  • Managing stress in appropriate ways
  • Treating gum disease effectively

The last item on the list may be particularly surprising. That is because most people do not realize strokes and gum issues are connected, according to ongoing research.

Incidences of Oral Infections Found in Stroke Sufferers

One study determined that people diagnosed with ischemic strokes were more likely to have oral infections than individuals in a control group. Similar research for a different study discovered that Streptococcus sanguis bacteria, which can play a role in strokes, is often commonly found in relation to periodontal disease.

People With Heart Disease Are More Likely to Have Strokes

Individuals who have been diagnosed with heart disease are at a greater risk for developing blood clots. If clots form, people may suffer strokes. Many cardiovascular professionals agree that people who have poor gum health are more likely to develop heart disease.

How to Keep Your Gums Healthy 

The best way to maintain good gum health is to see a qualified periodontal professional as needed. Dr. Lindsay B. Eastman is a periodontist for Sarasota residents and people in surrounding areas.

He can assess the overall health of your gums and let you know if their current state may elevate your risk for health problems, including strokes. More importantly, Dr. Eastman will recommend treatments to help your gums if necessary. Recognize National Stroke Awareness Month and schedule your next appointment.

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