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Can Gum Disease Contribute to Stroke? Mt. Pleasant  , SC
scared woman in dentist chair

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common condition that affects many individuals, but its implications extend far beyond oral health. Recent studies have shown a significant connection between gum disease and the risk of stroke. Rivers + West Family Dentistry, a distinguished dental team in Mount Pleasant, delves into this critical relationship, highlighting the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene for overall health and well-being.

The Connection Between Gum Disease and Stroke

1. Inflammation and Blood Vessels

Gum disease is characterized by inflammation of the gums, which can lead to the destruction of the tissues that support the teeth. This inflammation doesn’t just stay in the mouth; it can enter the bloodstream and affect other parts of the body. Inflammation in blood vessels is a known risk factor for stroke. The bacteria from gum disease can contribute to the buildup of plaques in arteries, potentially leading to a stroke.

2. Bacteria and the Cardiovascular System

The bacteria that cause gum disease can travel through the bloodstream and may contribute to the formation of blood clots. These clots can obstruct the flow of blood to the brain, leading to a stroke. Research suggests that people with gum disease may have a higher burden of bacteria, which could increase their risk of stroke.

3. Shared Risk Factors

Gum disease and stroke share common risk factors such as smoking, poor diet, and obesity. These shared risk factors suggest a lifestyle component in the development of both conditions. Dr. Suway emphasizes the importance of a holistic approach to health, addressing these common risk factors to reduce the likelihood of both gum disease and stroke.

Preventing Gum Disease to Lower Stroke Risk

At Rivers + West Family Dentistry, we help patients lower or avoid the risk of gum disease and its serious health implications when it goes untreated. We suggest the following:

  • Regular Dental Check-Ups: Routine dental visits are crucial in the early detection and treatment of gum disease. We recommend regular check-ups and cleanings to remove plaque and tartar, which are the main culprits in gum disease.
  • Good Oral Hygiene Practices: Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential in preventing gum disease. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash to reduce bacteria in the mouth.
  • Managing Lifestyle Factors: Addressing lifestyle factors such as smoking cessation, maintaining a healthy diet, and regular exercise can significantly reduce the risk of both gum disease and stroke. Our Mt. Pleasant dentists advise patients on the importance of these factors in overall health.
  • Professional Treatment: For patients already suffering from gum disease, professional treatment is necessary. We offer a range of treatments for gum disease, from deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) to more advanced procedures, depending on the severity of the condition.

Contact Us to Learn More

The link between gum disease and stroke highlights the importance of oral health in overall well-being. By understanding this connection, individuals can take proactive steps to maintain healthy gums, potentially reducing their risk of stroke. Rivers + West Family Dentistry is dedicated to providing comprehensive dental care to help patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call our Mount Pleasant dental office.

Posted on behalf of Rivers + West Family Dentistry

1065 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Suite A
Mt. Pleasant , SC 29464

Phone: (843) 884-5166

FAX: (843) 849-0791


Monday - Thursday 8AM - 5PM
We Break For Lunch From 1 - 2