We’ve already explored how good health starts with your mouth, however, routine dental screenings have also been able to catch early signs of medical issues. Research published the Journal of the American Dental Association claims that dental x-rays can actually aid in preventing a stroke. Dental x-rays provide a view of the arteries in your neck and allow dentists to spot blockages that may lead to a stroke.
Many cosmetic dentists utilize wide-angle (or panoramic) x-ray technology to get a bigger picture of the overall mouth. This wider scope allows for your dentist to also have a view of your neck, and allows them to spot signs of calcification in the arteries that may lead to cardiovascular issues such as a stroke.
Blockages in the Carotid Artery
The carotid arteries are the main source of blood flow to your brain and your facial area. An excess of plaque build-up in these arteries can have a negative impact on your health and put you at great risk for a stroke. Some causes for plaque build-up in the carotids include:
- tobacco consumption
- high cholesterol levels
- high blood sugar levels
- plaque-causing bacteria traveling through fissures in the gums into the blood
Dangerous blockages in the Carotid arteries often show no signs or symptoms. It is imperative to visit you dentist for routine cleanings and screenings. Visiting your dentist twice a year will prevent plaque build-up and detect blockages in your carotids.