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The Link Between Oral Health and Strokes

June 28th, 2023

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, or a blood clot stops oxygen from getting to the brain. You can help prevent strokes by making healthy lifestyle choices and this even includes having healthy teeth and gums! Oral health connects to our general overall health and there is a link between our oral health and the risk of having a stroke. 

Poor oral hygiene is one of the main risk factors associated with higher risks of strokes. Your mouth is home to thousands of bacteria, and the abundance of bacteria associated with gum disease is an infection of the mouth. This gum infection can damage the tissues and bones that support the teeth and is linked to an increased risk of stroke. People with gum disease have two times the risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other serious cardiovascular event.

The major link between gum disease and stroke is inflammation. Research has shown that the oral bacteria responsible for gum disease can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation of the blood vessels. This inflammation can then lead to blood clots, which can block the flow of blood to the brain and increase the risk of a stroke or heart disease. This is one of the many reasons it is important to keep the bacteria in the mouth under control. This is achieved by keeping up with good oral health care. Here are some ways to ensure you’re practising good oral hygiene habits:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes
  • Floss daily
  • Keep on top of your regular dental checkups
  • Limit your consumption of sugary foods and drinks

Remember, that patients with gum disease are twice as likely to have a stroke caused by hardening of large arteries within the brain than those without gum disease. Be sure to take care of your oral health and reduce your risk!




Posted in Dental Care, Health