Lack of Dental Care and Ischemic strokes
How Dental Problems Can Lead to Stroke
Did you know that your dental health has consequences that go well beyond your mouth? Taking care of your teeth has been found to protect your overall health, and the most surprising relationship between dental health and overall health is that problems with your dental health have been associated with stroke.
What Kind of Dental Problems Lead to Stroke?
Research studies from countries as diverse as Germany, France, Sweden, India, and Korea show that varying degrees of periodontal disease (gum disease) are associated with strokes. Mild gum disease, which causes inflammation of the gums, is called gingivitis, while more serious gum disease that causes the actual destruction of the gums is called periodontitis. Severe periodontitis can lead to tooth decay and eventually even tooth loss. All three of these types of gum disease are associated with a stroke — even the mildest form, which is gingivitis.1
A recent research study from Sweden followed in 1676 randomly selected people over a period of 26 years. Researchers reported, “that gingival inflammation was clearly associated with stroke.”2
And yet another research study found that having severe periodontal disease and tooth loss was a strong predictor of stroke, and even that people who had lost more teeth had usually experienced more strokes. Tooth loss was found to be a predictor of silent strokes.3 Silent strokes are strokes that people don't know they had because silent strokes don't cause obvious handicaps. However, over time, the build-up of silent strokes can cause disabling problems such as dementia.
What Kind of Strokes Can Dental Problems Cause?
Many research studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and lack of dental care with ischemic strokes.4 Ischemic strokes are strokes caused by interruption of blood flow due to a blood clot.