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Oral Care After a Stroke

June 11, 2010

Filed under: Dental Care — admin @ 1:57 pm

We found this in another dental newsletter and thought it was worth sharing…

A stroke occurs every 45 seconds and can strike anyone of any age. Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and can make maintaining oral health very difficult.

The stroke sufferer experiences multiple sensory losses and muscle dysfunction as well as neurological changes such as confusion and trouble thinking. Image

Stroke victims are at high risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and periodontitis (a chronic infection that can result in tooth loss).

In fact, a person who has those dental conditions is at a higher risk of having a stroke because oral bacteria use the bloodstream to sneak into the heart. Once in the heart, it takes the bacteria only 30 minutes to cause inflammation and arterial plaque that can break off, travel to the brain and cause a stroke.

Products made with xylitol, such as toothpaste, gum and lozenges help eliminate decay-causing bacteria and plaque on the teeth. A xylitol-based mouth spray helps provide moisture for someone who has dry mouth and keeps dentures from losing suction. It also helps control yeast infection.

There are products that replace calcium and phosphorous to strengthen damaged tooth enamel.Image

If you are a caregiver, look for specially-designed manual toothbrushes and flossers. Attach a wide elastic band to a toothbrush handle for the person who wants to be independent, and offer toothpaste in a flip-top or pump style container. If necessary, use a gloved finger, or ask the person needing care to rub toothpaste on the faces of the teeth instead of using a toothbrush.

A healthy mouth helps the stroke victim have better nutrition, appearance and self-esteem.

And don’t forget those all-important, regular dental exams.

Call Aesthetic Dentistry by Design.  We can help.  719.694.2476

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