How Dentists Can Boost Your Brain Health

You probably already know that poor dental hygiene increases your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Not to mention that it’s a common cause of bad breath. But did you know that your oral health can influence your systemic health?

Researchers have already been investigating the link between dental health and cardiovascular wellness, and now they’ve uncovered another connection. The bacteria in your mouth could contribute to hemorrhagic stroke and dementia.

Link between dental hygiene & stroke risk

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Louisville School of Medicine, who worked closely with researchers from the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, Japan. The researchers evaluated data regarding patients who were admitted for an acute stroke. They found that of the patients who were diagnosed with hemorrhagic stroke, 26 percent had cnm-positive S. mutans bacteria in their mouths. This statistic is particularly significant when compared to the six percent of patients who suffered from ischemic strokes and whose mouths contained the bacterium.

Although further research is called for, the study authors have suggested that the S. mutans bacteria may bind to blood vessels that have already been adversely affected by high blood pressure and age. This allows them to cause arterial ruptures of the brain, which is how hemorrhagic strokes occur. Ischemic strokes occur when a blood clot either forms in or travels to the blood vessels carrying blood to the brain. The clot can obstruct or completely cut off blood flow to one area of the brain, resulting in the rapid death of brain cells and the possible death or long-term disability of the patient.

Study co-author Robert Friedland noted, “This study shows that oral health is important for brain health. People need to take care of their teeth because it is good for their brain and their heart as well as their teeth.”

Improving your brain health with good dental care

About 10 percent of the general population contains this potentially dangerous bacterium in their mouths. Fortunately, good oral hygiene can help fight this problem. Dentists recommend making an appointment for a comprehensive oral examination and professional teeth cleaning at least every six months.

Patients who are at a high risk of oral health problems may be advised to see a dentist more frequently. In between dental visits, patients can protect their oral health and possibly their brain health by using fluoridated toothpaste twice per day, flossing at least once daily, and following a low-sugar diet. Some patients may need to make special modifications to their dental hygiene routine.

Protect your health with regular check ups

Protect your pearly whites and brain health by scheduling a dental consult at Chelsea Dental Aesthetics.

Dr. David Blaustein is your source for superior dental care in NYC. Request your appointment online or call us at 347-618-6544 for a comprehensive exam, professional cleaning and cosmetic dentistry treatments.

Chelsea Dental Aesthetics Comprehensive, Cosmetic, and Implant Dentistry located in Chelsea, New York, NY

You Might Also Enjoy...

Here's How Acid Reflux Affects Your Teeth

Do you brush and floss regularly but still have issues preventing plaque buildup and cavities? Learn more about how acid reflux impacts teeth, and whether it’s the cause of your dental problems.

How to Extend the Results of Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening is among the most popular cosmetic treatments available, but the procedure isn’t covered by insurance, so you’ll want to get the most bang for your buck. A few simple changes can help you get the most from your treatment.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a Missing Tooth

If you’re missing a tooth, don’t let it slide. There are real health-related concerns to consider with missing teeth, but a number of replacement options can restore your smile and keep your mouth healthy.

At What Age Should My Child See the Orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should have their first checkup with an orthodontist by no later than age 7. The earlier potential issues are identified, the better, even if treatment won’t begin for a while.