Good oral care may help prevent stroke

Since we were children, we’ve been hit over the head with the importance of good oral care.

And the benefits aren’t just cosmetic, either. Keeping our mouths clean can also help prevent everything from serious infections to heart disease.

And now a new study out of Japan could have you lingering a little longer the next time you brush or floss.

Because keeping your mouth clean could help you avoid one of the deadliest types of strokes around.

You see, your mouth is full of bacteria – some good, some bad. And the same oral bacteria that contributes to cavities and gum disease also increases your stroke risk.

This latest study looked at 100 patients with a median age of 70 at a hospital in Japan. Researchers were looking for evidence of a type of Streptococcus mutans bacteria that are found in your mouth and can bind to your blood vessels.

And when that happens, your blood vessels get weaker and you’re a sitting duck for a stroke.

Turns out that the patients with the highest levels of the S. mutans bacteria in their saliva were also SIGNIFICANTLY more likely to have one of the precursors for a major stroke – like small brain hemorrhages known as cerebral microbleeds (CMBs).

Now, this was a pretty small study involving stroke patients from Japan – but we’ve known forever that gum disease is a serious health issue that affects a lot more than your mouth.

And if you’re part of the nearly 70 per cent of patients over 65 who are affected by gum disease, you could be on the fast track to a stroke.
Make sure you keep those regular dental visits, and try to brush and floss after every meal. They even make portable, disposable toothbrushes you can carry in your pocket or purse when you’re eating out.

Good daily oral care isn’t just the key to a prettier smile in this year’s family photo – it also can make sure you’ll be around for the family photo next year, and for many more years to come.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Editor
Nutrition & Healing
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Sources:

Oral bacteria may increase stroke risk, claims new study, dnaindia.com

Intracerebral hemorrhage and deep microbleeds associated with cnm-positive Streptococcus mutans; a hospital cohort study, nature.com/articles/srep20074

Oral bacteria linked to risk of stroke, louisville.edu/medicine/news/oral-bacteria-linked-to-risk-of-stroke

Periodontal Disease, cdc.gov/oralhealth/conditions/index.htm

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