Heart problems: “Poor dental health increases the risk of stroke”

You might think that it has absolutely nothing to do with it. Unfortunately, heart problems could be partly caused by teeth. As the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Chile can cause a tornado in the United States, bruxism, edentulism or even bacterial growth in the mouth can cause a thousand ailments to the rest of your body, and impact your heart health. On the occasion of World Stroke Day, dentists from the French Union for Oral Health sound the alarm.

Professor Francis Hartmann, professor of dentistry and neurophysiology and author of Back Pain, Fatigue, Migraine … If you clench your teeth (Kawa ed.), Shed light on the underestimated dental background of some heart problems.

What is the link between the teeth and possible cardiovascular problems?

If you press on your closed eyes, your heart rate will slow down (bradycardia), because this simple gesture sends cardiac moderation information to the vagus nerve: this is called the oculo-cardiac reflex. Now, the cornea and the upper and lower teeth are innervated by the same nerve, the trigeminal nerve. It moderates the heart rate via the eye and increases it via dental contact. So if you suffer from bruxism, involuntary but sustained tightening of the teeth can lead to an increase in the heart rate (tachycardia).

My research has helped to understand why people with bruxism sometimes suffered from heart palpitations of dental causes.

Heart problems: “Poor dental health increases the risk of stroke”

Can bruxism have other health consequences?

He has a lot! Bruxism belongs to the dysfunctions of the temporomandibular joint (DTM) and these DTM can have consequences all over the body and cause cardiac disorders, but also hearing disorders (tinnitus), vertigo, eating disorders , migraines or neck and back pain. Cases of fibromyalgia and extreme fatigue syndrome may also have dental causes.

These conditions affect mostly women, but the nerves of the teeth are especially sensitive to estrogen.

The French Union for Oral Health emphasizes the link between poor dental hygiene and the risk of stroke.

How can dental problems possibly cause a stroke?

Poor oral hygiene increases the risk of stroke. A person who suffers from untreated gingivitis will, with age, end up developing periodontitis, an infectious disease. That is, the inflammation that initially only touched the gum will win all the tissue, including bone, around the tooth. When chronic, periodontitis is associated with prolonged inflammation, the negative effects of which affect the entire body and may result in increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

In addition, periodontitis may ultimately lead to loss of teeth. But a study conducted by Korean neurologists has highlighted the serious consequences of edentulousness on health. By studying the brains of healthy patients and patients with serious dental problems. From seven missing teeth, they observed a total transformation of the white matter of the brain, as well as repeated cerebral infarctions.

But few French doctors are aware of this work on the repercussions of dental problems on the rest of the body, they do not want to recognize that the teeth can be responsible for conditions so serious and varied. Dental health is essential.

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