A new study links gum disease doubling stroke risk

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A new study has found that people with gum disease are around twice as likely to have a stroke.

First posted on Oral Health Foundation November 25th 2019

Researchers have discovered when the gums bleed and become inflamed, it leads to changes in how blood and oxygen flow to the brain.

Gum disease remains one of the most common health conditions across the United Kingdom, currently affecting around 45% of the adult population.

In response, the Oral Health Foundation is encouraging everyone to ensure they pay close attention to their oral health. The charity says a good oral health routine can reduce your risk of developing gum disease and other health complications.

Dr. Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, says: “Gum disease is incredibly common and most people will suffer from it during the course of their lifetime. It is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults and is increasingly being linked to other general health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and some forms of dementia.

The new study, which also examined more than 2,000 previous studies into the area, supports previous studies that have linked a heightened stroke risk with gum disease.

The Stroke Association estimates that over 100,000 strokes occur in the UK every year. Around the Christmas period, there is an elevated risk of strokes and heart disease making this link even more relevant in the build-up to the festive season.

Gum disease is more likely to occur as you get older while its severity also gets worse with age.

Smokers also experience worse levels of gum disease and diabetics are particularly prone to gum disease.

“The first signs of gum disease is when the gums start to bleed,” adds Dr Carter.

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