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Columbia, SC 29223
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Gum Disease & Strokes

Gum Disease (Periodontal disease) can affect your overall health The bacteria that cause periodontal disease can release toxins into that travel through the bloodstream and help to form fatty plaques in the arteries. These plaque deposits can lead to serious problems, such as blood clots, which can block blood flow, heart attacks and strokes. There are two types of strokes that gum disease is a factor of.

  • An ischemic stroke, by far the more common type of stroke, occurs when the brain does not receive enough blood from an artery due to a blockage. This blockage can either be due to a blood clot in a blood vessel of the brain or neck, the movement of a blood clot from another part of the body, or the narrowing of an artery into the brain.
  • A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel breaks and bleeds into the brain. Aneurysms and high blood pressure can contribute to the risk of suffering from a hemorrhagic stroke, as weak spots in artery walls, especially under the increased force of high blood pressure, could rupture, causing bleeding.

When gums become inflamed, swollen, and bleed. Bacteria within plaque lead to chronic inflammation of the gum line and tooth loss. Chronic inflammation caused by periodontal disease has been linked to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. Arterial plaque is a deposit of fat, cholesterol, calcium and scar tissue that develops in the artery wall. Plaque in the mouth is a bacterial film that builds up on teeth. While the two types of plaque are very different, patients with gum disease do seem to have nearly twice the risk of also having heart disease.

While there is no direct link between gum disease and strokes they have many of the root causes

  • high blood pressure
  • smoking
  • heart disease
  • high blood cholesterol
  • diabetes

You should see you Primary Care Physician (PCP) to discuss any of those health concerns.

Your Best Overall Health

Strokes are a serious concern for patients with periodontal disease. If you have bacteria and infection in your mouth, it can spread throughout your entire body, causing many health problems. Periodontal disease is preventable and treatable, so by taking care of your oral health, you are taking care of your best over all health. Call to schedule appointment with Dr. Gregg McKenzie, DDS to start you on your way to amazing oral health.