Stroke and Dental Health

A stroke or cerebrovascular accident occurs due to partial or total obstruction of blood flow to the brain.
A person experiencing a stroke will have the following signs: drooping face, arm weakness, or slurred or
impaired speech. Recent studies have shown a link between stroke and oral diseases. It can be explained
that patients with a history of stroke generally have poor oral hygiene practices affecting their oral health.
This ultimately may lead to gum diseases. Studies have also shown that the presence of moderate to
advanced stage of gum diseases may increase the risk of heart diseases, rather than someone with healthy
gums.

Your oral health can also provide warning signs for several systemic diseases, including cardiac conditions.

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The connection between gum disease and stroke

Inflammation is considered to be the significant link between oral diseases and stroke. Our mouth is home
to millions of bacteria, some of which may cause diseases. In the presence of infection, there is inflammation
and an abundance of bacteria in the mouth. This bacterial infection can get into the bloodstream,
causing inflammation, making the blood more likely to clot and stroke. Though the mechanism between
inflammation from gum diseases and stroke is not yet apparent, the link between the two is certain. The
inflammation from gum diseases has also been associated with other conditions like diabetes, cancers and
Alzheimer’s disease.

It has been hypothesised that the bacteria can travel through the bloodstream from the mouth and reach
the heart. Here, they can attach themselves to any damaged tissue and cause inflammation resulting in
illnesses such as Endocarditis, an infection of the heart’s inner lining.

A recent study shows that periodontal diseases might increase the chance of having a stroke. So maintaining
good oral health may aid in reducing the risk of stroke. This can be bolstered by regular dental exams and
cleanings to get any problems treated promptly on diagnosis by your dentist.

Possible Oral problems after stroke

Most people who have experienced a stroke have paralysis. In the case of facial paralysis, there can be
many complications in terms of the oral cavity. People who are recovering from stroke may be more
susceptible to dental problems. Food may get trapped between teeth due to paralysis of facial muscles,
causing several oral issues.

When excess food sticks to teeth, plaque can build up and lead to gum disease. If left untreated, gum
the disease can progress to periodontal disease, permanently damaging the teeth and jawbones.

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Paralyzed facial muscles may also lead to ill-fitting dentures. In addition, medications taken to prevent
stroke can reduce saliva flow leading to dryness of the mouth hence dental decay and gum diseases.

 

Prevention Measures

Good oral hygiene and regular dental examinations are the best way to protect yourself against the
development of gum disease. Daily brushing and flossing are recommended to keep your mouth healthy.
By being proactive about your oral health, you can protect yourself from developing a connection between
oral health and heart disease.

We hope we have answered your questions about stroke and dental health, but if you need more information then please do not hesitate to contact us.

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