Stroke Prevention: Routine Dental Hygiene Appointments

You may wonder what a tooth cleaning has to do with a stroke—that sudden, devastating paralysis in which blood supply to the brain is blocked.

Simply put, it's the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries. Yes, their is a direct correlation between the plaque in arteries and the plaque that builds up on teeth and causes inflammation and gum disease if not professionally cleaned from time to time.

A hygiene appointment is probably the easiest and most painless way of eliminating at least one of the risk factors leading to stroke.

Warning Signs—and Responses

Act in time and call 911 if you, or someone you love, experiences:

  • Sudden weakness in hand, arm, leg
  • Loss of feeling on one side of face
  • Loss of sight in one eye
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of comprehension of someone speaking
  • The worst headache ever

Simple tests to determine if someone is experiencing a stroke:

  • Ask the person to smile
  • Ask the person to "raise both arms"
  • Ask for a repeat of a simple sentence: "It is sunny out today"