Strokes are responsible for millions of death in the United States every year. In fact, they are the leading cause of death among elderly patients. Researchers have estimated that 25 percent of all men and 20 percent of all women will suffer a stroke at some point during their lives. What is even more surprising is the fact that periodontal disease has recently been identified as one of the leading stroke causes in Glen Ellyn, IL. Therefore, patients of Dr. John Borello are highly encouraged to seek treatment.
What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when the blood vessels that supply oxygen to the brain become damaged or clogged and the flow of oxygen is blocked. Within just a few short minutes, the brain cells will begin to die and severe brain damage can occur. This means that certain functions controlled by that portion of the brain can no longer be performed. For example, stroke victims often suffer difficulties with speech, movement, and memory.
How does periodontal disease cause strokes?
Research shows that patients with severe periodontal disease are more than four times more likely to experience a stroke. There are several theories as to why this is:
- Bacteria clogs the arteries – When inflamed gum tissue starts to bleed, it gives bacteria in the mouth a chance to enter the bloodstream. Once there, the bacteria can attach themselves to arterial plaques and create blockages in the heart which stop the flow of oxygen to the brain.
- Inflammation – When bacteria enter the bloodstream, the body’s natural response is to have the blood cells swell up in self-defense. This can also create blockages that stop the flow of blood.
- Weakened immune system – Periodontal disease creates stress which can weaken the body’s immune system and provoke inflammation.
If you are at risk of stroke, maintaining excellent oral health is of the utmost importance. To learn more about periodontal disease as one of the major stroke causes in Glen Ellyn, IL, contact Dr. Borello and schedule your consultation today!