May is the month we get the first real taste of summer here in Midland. And with these first sizzling temperatures comes something else: May is also American Stroke Month. But what does that have to do with your dentist in Midland? More than you might think. Tooth loss is linked to an increased risk of stroke — and that means regular preventive care is vitally important for your oral and overall health. Keep reading to learn why, then schedule an appointment for a checkup and cleaning during the month we raise stroke awareness!
What Is Stroke?
Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries that are around and inside the brain. It is also the number five cause of death in the United States, and a significant cause of disability in our country. Paralysis, difficulty with speech, vision loss, and other serious side effects are common to people who have had a stroke.
Facts about stroke, from the American Heart Association:
- Someone has a stroke every 40 seconds in the US
- Stroke is about as common as heart attack
- Most strokes are preventable
- Prompt treatment of stroke greatly increases chances of recovery
Spot a stroke early by remembering to act FAST: Face drooping, arm weakness, and speech difficulty mean it’s time to call 911.
Link Between Tooth Loss and Stroke
So what do stroke and tooth loss have in common? One study performed in early 2000s startled people when it suggested a link between missing teeth and stroke — and it wasn’t just a correlation between tobacco use and its effects on heart healthy. In the study, nonsmokers were actually more likely to have a stroke than smokers.
Follow-up studies have shown that the link between missing teeth and stroke does exist. It’s thought that the connection is perhaps because tooth loss is most often caused by gum disease, the condition in which bacteria that lives in the gums can easily enter into the bloodstream and wreak havoc on overall health. In addition to stroke, gum disease is linked to heart problems, pneumonia, premature birth and low birthweight.
Prevention = Crucial for Oral, Overall Wellbeing
Scheduling and attending two checkups and cleanings per year is absolutely crucial for preventing cavities and gum disease and enjoying better systemic wellbeing (i.e. preventing stroke and the associated health problems of gum disease) for a long time to come. During this routine appointment, we will remove the plaque and tartar that cause oral health hazards, take x-rays, and perform a careful tooth-by-tooth examination to catch issues early and prevent tooth loss and its associated health risks.
If you do experience tooth loss, partnering with your dentist for a comprehensive replacement option, like dental implants in Midland, is a wonderful way to prevent the harmful effects of missing teeth. Many patients are eligible for this tooth replacement option.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
May is an excellent time to visit your dentist for the preventive care that helps you to prevent tooth loss and reduce your risk of stroke. But where is the best dentist near me, you ask? It’s Robert E. Christensen D.D.S., and we invite you to request an appointment during American Stroke Month!