Sometimes it’s easy to forget how connected your teeth and gums are to your overall health. For example, you may not think that your dentist would be emphasizing the importance of Stroke Awareness Month — but this health event is more related to your oral health than you might think. Below, find out more about why, and what you can do to prevent strokes from affecting you and those you love.
WHAT IS STROKE?
A stroke is a cerebrovascular event which leads to brain damage resulting from oxygen deprivation. It is the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States and the number one cause of disability.
Recognizing a stroke early can help to prevent some of the most damaging effects. Some of the early warning signs of a stroke include the following:
- Sudden numbness/weakness in the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body
- Slowed/slurred speech
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty walking
- Sudden headache
If you or a loved one experience these symptoms, seek emergency medical attention or call 911 right away.
STROKE AND GUM DISEASE
Here is where the connection between stroke and oral health comes into play: people who have gum disease are at a much higher risk (two to three times higher) of experiencing a stroke than those who do not. The connection is thought to be between inflammation that occurs alongside gum disease — in addition to raising the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and heart attack, this constant inflammation in the gums increases the risk of inflammation developing elsewhere and also puts sufferers at a higher likelihood of experiencing stroke.
Fortunately, preventing gum disease is possible with proper oral hygiene habits and routine visits to your dentist. People of all ages benefit from brushing their teeth for two minutes, twice a day, and flossing between teeth once daily. And, for most patients, six-month visits to the dentist are sufficient for staying ahead of tooth decay and gum disease.
LANAP FOR HEALTHIER GUMS
If, however, you have already developed gum disease, your dentist may recommend treatment with LANAP (laser-assisted regeneration) surgery. This is one excellent option for patients dealing with chronic gum disease. Using the power and precision of a concentrated laser beam, your dentist can efficiently and effectively remove diseased tissue while also promoting growth and regeneration faster than is possible with traditional periodontal surgery.
This month, we’re reminding patients that your oral health has more to do with preventing strokes than they might think. Help us spread the word!
Meet the Practice
Canatella Dental offers a range of dental treatments from the comfort of their state-of-the-art office in New Orleans, LA. To learn more about their comprehensive services or to discuss your periodontal needs, you are invited to contact the team by calling (504) 717-4259 today.