A stroke occurs when there is a disruption of the blood supply going to the brain. There are a number of ways in which the arteries carrying the blood may get blocked, including a blood clot or by plaque. Poor oral health has been thought to be a possible cause of heart disease and/or stroke. Although taking care of your teeth isn’t a guaranteed way to prevent a stroke, research has shown that there is a connection between poor oral health (namely gum disease) and stroke.
Poor Dental Care and Lacunar Strokes
Not only does poor dental hygiene affect your teeth and gums, but it also may increase the risk of developing a lacunar stroke, which are strokes caused by an obstruction to one or more of the small branches of a larger blood vessel. Blood vessels divide and go into different areas of your brain, resulting in lacunar strokes often occurring in areas away from the surface of the brain. Each area of the brain performs a limited set of functions, so when a lacunar stroke occurs it damages specific functions of the brain, such as the pons and the corona radiate, which are areas of the brain responsible for motor skills, which is a category of lacunar strokes known as pure motor strokes (most common type of lacunar strokes). Other types of lacunar strokes include pure sensory lacunar stroke and sensorimotor lacunar stroke.
Bacteria and Your Health
There are several types of bacteria, both good and bad, that are always present in the mouth. Unfortunately, without proper oral health care, the bad bacteria can overtake the good bacteria, which eventually lead to cavities, decay and gum disease. The bacteria from gum disease can travel through the bloodstream and into the brain. Along with the possibility of stroke, these bacteria can lead to the development of various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Tips for Maintaining your Oral Health
The primary goal of good oral hygiene is keeping your mouth free of debris and decay-causing bacteria. It is essential that you brush at least twice each day and floss at least once a day to prevent the development of tooth decay and gum disease. You should also visit your dentist at least two times a year for a thorough cleaning and examination. If you do have a cavity, it is important to have the problem corrected as soon as possible to prevent the risk of further damage to your teeth, gums and overall general health.
Keep in mind that manner in which you take care of your teeth and gums will have a direct effect on the rest of your body. Your mouth is basically a breeding ground for bacteria, so it must be properly cleaned on a regular basis to prevent the risk of an unhealthy level of bacteria developing. If you notice any changes in your teeth and/or gums, such as bleeding gums, loose teeth or swollen gums, it is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
To schedule your cleaning and exam, contact Premier Dental Care today.