Regular Dental Checkups: They May Decrease The Risk Of Strokes

Posted on: 27 October 2015

Most people have heard the song and dance about the value of getting regular dental checkups since elementary school. Many associate the checkups with an effective way to prevent cavities. They can rot your teeth and wind up costing you some expensive dental work. Many people don't realize that twice-yearly checkups can also decrease the risk of your suffering from other serious and often life threatening health problems, such as a stroke.  

Increased Likelihood of Stroke

Swelling of the gums surrounding your teeth is a symptom of gingivitis. This can lead to a chronic infection of the gums that afflicts 3.6 percent of the population. It is called periodontal disease. People with this disease have an increased risk of having a stroke. This risk is about 4.3 percent higher than in patients without the disease.

What Happens with Periodontal Disease?

The infection creates a higher amount of bacteria in your mouth than normal. When you swallow, this bacterium is swept down your throat and into your body. This results in an abundance of harmful bacteria in the individual. Your dentist will likely recommend seeing a periodontist to treat the disease. This is because severe cases of periodontitis may result in tooth loss. Replacing the lost teeth can be quite costly and may involve surgery if you opt for dental implants. Other options to replace the teeth are fixed bridges or partial dentures.

Preventing Periodontal Disease

If you follow the sage rules of good oral hygiene, you can help prevent your gums from becoming inflamed, and you are less likely to suffer from periodontal disease. One of the best ways to do this is to get your teeth cleaned every 6 months. Some people may even need to visit their dentist more often; your dentist can advise you on this matter. The cleaning removes the plaque from the surface of the teeth. This sticky substance is a main cause of gingivitis. Another effective way to prevent swollen gums is to clean the debris from in between your teeth each day. Do this with dental floss or an interdental device created for this purpose. Don't forget the most basic preventive action; Brushing your teeth and gums twice daily and using fluoride toothpaste. Choose a mouthwash with antiseptic properties. Swish it in your mouth twice a day. This helps kill the bacteria in your mouth.

A stroke can be debilitating and life threatening. These days, dental checkups are typically pain free. If you have dental insurance, many of them cover the entire cost of the twice-yearly checkups. Don't delay taking care of your oral health; it may help save your life some day. Contact a local dentist, such as one from Oral Surgery Associates Inc, for further assistance.