Dentist’s Guide on Medication for Stroke

A cerebrovascular accident, or commonly known as stroke occurs due to the brain’s insufficient blood flow. When this happens, the oxygen level lowers significantly, causing the brain cells to die, leading to either disability or death. That’s why for dental patients who had this kind of tragic experience, the dentist should take note his or her medication for stroke. Moreover if oral surgery is needed, the dentist must find out if the patient can handle pain after dental surgery.

medication for stroke

A cerebrovascular accident, or commonly known as stroke occurs due to the brain’s insufficient blood flow. When this happens, the oxygen level lowers significantly, causing the brain cells to die, leading to either disability or death. That’s why for dental patients who had this kind of tragic experience, the dentist should take note his or her medication for stroke. Moreover if oral surgery is needed, the dentist must find out if the patient can handle pain after dental surgery.

Stroke has various signs and symptoms and it is the responsibility of the dental provider to monitor for these observations. If the patient is having stroke, it’s very important to apply the necessary treatment within three hours from the time the incident occurred. Here are some manifestations of stroke.

  • Severe headache with unknown cause
  • Sudden numbness of the arm, face and leg on one side of the body
  • Disorientation, difficulty in speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden vision trouble on one or both eyes
  • Sudden difficulty in walking with loss of balance and coordination; dizziness may also be noted

Stroke Statistics

According to studies, the possibility of suffering from stroke increases after age 55 and the percentage further rises every after 10 years. However, out of seven incidents, one is within the age of 15 to 49. It has also been noted that pregnancy and even the use of birth control methods can increase the risk of stroke. Regarding races, American Indians, Hispanics and blacks are more prone to this condition compared to Asians and non-Hispanics.

Oral Health Management for Stroke

medication for stroke

The dentist has a huge responsibility when handling a patient who has a history of stroke. Prior to providing any dental care, the dental provider should assess the risk for any complications. Such factors to consider include the time or day the stroke occurred and how intensive the dental procedure would be.

If the stroke happened just recently such as within the last six months, the patient is still unstable. Any elective dental procedures should be put on hold and the patient should be advised to consult a physician if a dental procedure is really necessary.

It is also important for the dentist to take note the patient’s medication for stroke. If the patient is taking Warfarin, the international normalized ration should be reported and should only 3.5 or less. Moreover, it’s strongly discouraged for the dentist to prescribe drugs like Tetracycline and Metronidazole if the patient is taking Warfarin.

Effective pain management techniques should be applied if the patient who had a history of stroke will undergo a dental procedure. This will reduce stress and the risk for any complications. The amount of anesthesia to be administered should also be limited.

One important thing to note with patients who had a history of stroke is one side of the mouth may not be as clean as the other side. This is due to the brain damage that has occurred. For dentists who had stroke patients, they should provide encouragement to apply preventive measures against tooth decay, periodontal diseases and even bad breathe.

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