What is a Stroke?

An ischemic stroke (the most common type) happens when a blood vessel that feeds the brain gets blocked, usually from a blood clot. When the blood supply to a part of the brain is shut off, brain cells will die. The result is the inability to carry out normal brain functions such as walking or talking.

  • About 85 percent of strokes are ischemic strokes.

How is a stroke related to your mouth?

Studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. In one study that looked at the causal relationship of oral infection as a risk factor for stroke, people diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.

How can you minimize your risk of having a stroke?

  • Control high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Lower the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in your diet.
  • Quit tobacco use.
  • Control diabetes.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
  • Treat obstructive sleep apnea, if present.
  • Avoid illicit drugs.

Resources
American Heart Association
News-Medical.net
American Academy of Periodontology
Mayo Clinic

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