Gum Disease May Boost Stroke Risk

People who have gum disease may be at greater risk for stroke due to an increased tendency to have blockages in the carotid arteries of the neck. A build-up of fatty plaque in the carotid arteries can increase the risk of stroke by reducing blood flow to the brain, or by promoting formation of a clot that can cause a stroke. Findings were presented April 21 at the American Academy of Neurology meeting.

Periodontal, or gum, disease is caused by a chronic, low-grade infection that is often not linked by doctors to other conditions such as those causing stroke. However, periodontal disease involves a large territory of bone and a lot of tissue is in contact with that bone. From this contact, bacteria and toxic, inflammatory compounds can gain access to the blood stream, where they may have an effect on the lining of blood vessels. It is believed that inflammation plays an important role in heart disease and stroke.

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

This is an interesting observation which highlights the importance of optimal dental hygiene. If you have regular plaque build up at your dental check ups, it would seem to make much more sense to have your teeth cleaned every three months rather than the six month interval that is frequently recommended. Also, don’t forget fluoride is a toxin and should not be in your toothpaste.

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