Annually, 795,000 Americans have strokes. Of those, approximately 143,579 perish from the medical emergency and those who survive suffer from serious, long-term disabilities. The sudden interruption of blood supply to the brain can happen to anyone at any age, however individuals suffering from gum disease have increased risk of falling victim to the condition.
Periodontal disease has been linked to a large assortment of medical conditions. The oral disease caused by an excess of bacteria build up (AKA plaque) has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, expectant mothers delivering prematurely, tooth loss and more. The most recent study analyzing the correlations between gum disease and strokes has reaffirmed the importance of oral health in relation to general well being.
High blood pressure is a cardiac chronic medical condition that has long thought to be the most important factor contributing to an individuals chance of having a stroke. The bulk of individuals suffering from high blood pressure are categorized as having "primary hypertension," and there is no clear-cut reason for the condition. For the remaining group, conditions that affect main organs such as kidneys, arteries, heart, or the endocrine system are the culprits for the elevated readings.
New research has indicated that individuals with poor dental health are "...twice as likely to suffer a non-fatal stroke as a result of gum disease," (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/221159.php). The findings from the study called the "Impacts Of Periodontitis On Nonfatal Ischemic Stroke," were presented at the 89th International Association for Dental Research (IADR) General Session and Exhibition in San Diego (2011). The research has indicated that gum disease is nearly equal to high blood pressure as a source of causing of strokes.
It is estimated that more than 23 million United States residents have diabetes (1-800-DENTIST). This particular condition is marked by individuals having higher than average levels of blood sugar present in their system. The disease has long been associated with individuals having the most severe cases of periodontal disease. Concurrently, individuals with advanced disease may experience spikes in their blood sugar, making the condition more challenging to manage. This relationship is possible as the less regulated blood sugar is, the more damaged white bloods cells (the little powerhouses responsible for fighting oral bacterial infection) will become.
Diabetics, regardless of their gender are two-and-a-half times more likely to develop all forms of cardiovascular disease, including strokes, than there non diabetic counterparts. Individuals without diabetes but with gum disease stand nearly the same odds of suffering a stroke as well.
Estimates from the StrokeCenter.org suggest that every 40 seconds, someone suffers a stroke. Aside from medical conditions including high blood pressure and diabetes, obesity, alcohol abuse, poor diet and smoking will also increase the odds of a person falling victim to the debilitating condition.
Individuals interested in lowering their odds of having a stroke should eat a healthy diet, exercise to manage obesity and eliminate the high-risk behaviors of drinking and smoking. Implementing a dental care regime of brushing, flossing and regular dental check ups will help keep dental plaque at bay, lowering both the chances of developing gingivitis and having a stroke.
Everyone needs to practice good oral hygiene, in order to minimize the odds of developing any medical conditions. If you are just starting to get on the dental care bandwagon and need to find a dentist to assist you in your task, 1-800-DENTIST can connect you with a screened dentist up to the task of contributing to your health.