Good oral health is a cornerstone of overall well-being, and we’ve known for a long time that periodontal health is linked with overall health. Scientific research has recently confirmed that gum disease is strongly linked to neurological diseases such as strokes and Alzheimer’s. Previously, gum disease was already linked to heart conditions, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Understanding these interconnections points us to the importance of maintaining oral hygiene and seeking regular dental care. It’s more important than ever to prioritize our periodontal health.
A study published in Medscape sheds light on the intricate relationship between gum disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. The article underscores that gum disease, or periodontitis, is not merely confined to the mouth—it can have far-reaching consequences on systemic health.
Gum Disease and Stroke: The connection between gum disease and stroke lies in the body’s inflammatory response. Periodontitis leads to chronic inflammation in the gums, which can contribute to the narrowing of blood vessels and the formation of blood clots. These clots can then obstruct blood flow to the brain, increasing the risk of stroke. The article highlights that individuals with gum disease are more likely to experience stroke and other cardiovascular issues.
Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease: Another intriguing association lies between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Chronic inflammation in the body, as triggered by periodontitis, has been suggested as a potential contributor to the development of Alzheimer’s. The inflammatory molecules released in response to gum disease can enter the bloodstream and reach the brain, where they might play a role in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Prevent stroke and Alzheimer’s with the best dental care possible
The findings from this research emphasize the importance of adopting effective preventive measures to combat the risk of these interconnected health issues:
- Maintain good oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing to prevent gum disease. Regularly removing plaque and bacteria from the mouth helps to prevent inflammation and its potential systemic effects.
- Regular dental checkups and cleanings: Routine visits to the dentist allow for early detection and treatment of gum disease.
- Healthy lifestyle choices: avoiding smoking, adopting a balanced diet, and managing stress, can contribute to overall oral and systemic health.
- Treating gum disease: If diagnosed with gum disease, seeking appropriate treatment from a dental professional can help prevent its progression and minimize the associated health risks.
Read our blog Gum Disease and the Importance of Periodontal Care for more about what you can do for your periodontal health.
Talk to your dentist about the best periodontal care plan
The link between gum disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease shows that oral health and overall health are inexorably linked. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these connections, the available evidence serves as a powerful reminder that taking care of our oral health can have far-reaching benefits. Especially if you are at risk for stroke or Alzheimer’s, talk to your downtown Saskatoon dentist about protecting your gum health.