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Dental Care and Stroke Awareness

World Stroke Day – October 29, 2020

According to the CDC.gov website, more than 795,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke each year.  Approximately 610,000 of these are first or new strokes; meaning 1 in 4 are people who have had a previous stroke. 

A stroke is a cerebrovascular event caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain due to the blocking or bursting of a blood vessel to the brain.  This event causes a lack of oxygen and begins to kill off brain cells, resulting in death or disability.  

The most common cause of strokes is Hypertension (high blood pressure).  Other risk factors included: 

  • Previous stroke 
  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, or mini stroke) 
  • High cholesterol 
  • Heart disease 
  • Diabetes 
  • Sickle cell disease 

Risk is increased by individual if there is an unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, obesity, alcohol abuse, tobacco use or family history.  Age, gender and race can also increase one’s risk. 

Preventing a Stroke 

High blood pressure is the most common cause, so preventing or treating hypertension is a great place to start.

Keep a healthy lifestyle by maintaining your weight with physical activity and a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables. Also limit your alcohol use and avoid smoking or second-hand smoke.

Recognize the Signs

Image courtesy of National Institutes of Health (stroke.nih.gov)

Dental Health for Stroke Patients 

If you are a caregiver for someone who has suffered a stroke, it is important that you consult with your dentist regarding dental care.  Allow the dentist to assess the patient’s risk for complications.  They should be able to evaluate the patient’s individual status along with the election procedure to develop a plan that best protects the patient’s overall health. 

Enjoyed this blog?  Check out our previous post on Controlling your Blood Pressure.