Did you know that stroke happens to people of all ages? Although people tend to associate stroke in Ft. Lauderdale, FL with older populations, stroke can and does affect younger individuals.
This May is Stroke Awareness Month, a time to consider all the ways you are taking care of yourself to minimize the risk associated with stroke. At our dental facility in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, we discuss stroke with patients on a regular basis. After all, the occurrence of gum disease has been directly linked to a greater chance of stroke.
How Gum Disease Affects the Body
While it might not seem immediately obvious that stroke and gum disease could be related, it makes perfect sense when you remember that what happens in your mouth affects your body’s system. Therefore, when gum disease causes your soft tissues to become inflamed and infected, your risk of a related systemic issue, such as blood problems that can lead to stroke, increases.
In one study from 2004, researchers in Germany published a landmark essay that has been acknowledged by the American Heart Association. In it, they explained their research showed periodontitis (moderate to advanced gum disease) as a risk factor for stroke in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, especially for men and younger people. At the same time, gingivitis, which is the beginning stages of gum disease, did not seem to have as strong a link to stroke. In other words, if you have gingivitis, you can directly prevent it from becoming periodontitis, thereby lessening the likelihood of stroke.
These results show the importance of early gum disease detection and treatment.
Could You Have Gum Disease?
Although only a trained, qualified dental professional can determine if you have gingivitis or periodontitis, you should be aware of the early warning signs. These include chronic bad breath, red or swollen gums, and gums that bleed. Getting regular dental check-ups is a must for everyone, and if you have any stage of gum disease, it’s even more important. Why put yourself at risk for systemic health problems like stroke or other diseases?
Gum disease is a manageable at any age, but only if you get a diagnosis. If you’re living in the Ft. Lauderdale area, please contact our office for a consultation and examination today.