Stroke: Mouth Symptoms To Watch Out For

stroke mouth symptoms

A stroke is a medical emergency that can cause life-long disabilities if not treated in time. The symptoms of a stroke vary depending on the type and severity of the stroke; however, mouth symptoms are common in many kinds of strokes. Knowing the symptoms of a stroke can help you take action quickly and save lives.



Stroke Signs and Symptoms

There has always been a well-known list of classic signs of stroke. However, you do not need to have all of them to consider yourself as having a stroke: it is typical to only experience some of the symptoms. For example, a person experiencing numbness and difficulty balancing due to a stroke may not also have cognitive problems. This may put them off going to the hospital.

If someone experiences any of the following symptoms, they should seek medical aid as soon as possible:

  • Problems with talking or understanding others. One may experience confusion, slur words, or difficulty understanding speech.
  • Numbness or drooping on one side of the face. This often affects just one side of the body. Try to raise both arms over the head at the same time. If one arm begins to fall, the patient may be having a stroke. Also, one side of the mouth may droop when you try to smile.
  • Numbness or weakness on one side of the body
  • Trouble walking or balancing. The stroke patient may stumble or lose their balance. They may also have sudden dizziness or a loss of coordination.
  • Vision problems. The patient may suddenly have blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, or they may see double.
  • A sharp or severe headache. A sudden, severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness, or altered consciousness, may indicate that one is having a stroke.
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble swallowing

Out of all these symptoms, only the headache is painful. Many people with a stroke may claim that they do not feel pain.

Patients who are unsure whether something is wrong may ignore the other symptoms. However, in cases of a stroke, fast action is essential. Be aware of all the symptoms, and be prepared to call an ambulance if they appear.

Anyone who may be having a stroke should not drive. Symptoms may rapidly worsen, and they could harm themselves or others in an accident.

stroke facial droopingWhat Are Stroke Mouth Symptoms?

If you are talking to a patient who is currently having a stroke, the most common symptom of a stroke is facial drooping or weakness on one side of the face. This can be seen as an inability to smile, difficulty speaking, or an uneven appearance when the person tries to smile or frown. Other symptoms include drooling from one side of the mouth, slurred speech, and difficulty swallowing. These symptoms can also be accompanied by numbness or tingling in the tongue or lower lip on one side of the mouth.

What to do when you see these signs: F.A.S.T.

Think fast. No, really. A stroke is a medical emergency. The stroke victim needs treatment right away. That requires quick thinking and action on your part.

The medical community developed a simple test using the acronym F.A.S.T. to help people remember the most common warning signs of stroke and react accordingly. If you think someone is suffering a stroke, give them this test:

F = Face — Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop? Is the smile uneven? That’s a sign of weakness or numbness in the face.

A = Arms — Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Can they lift one arm higher than the other? That signals weakness on one side of their body.

S = Speech — Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Did they slur? Did their speech sound strange? Could they even repeat the phrase? Trouble speaking is a tell-tale sign of a stroke.

T = Time — If the person fails any part of the test, note the time and get help. Call 9-1-1 immediately. Let them know what time you gave this test so they can estimate the length of the stroke.

What should I do to treat a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?

stroke doctor consultationIf your stroke symptoms go away after a few minutes, you may have had a transient ischemic attack (TIA), also sometimes called a “mini-stroke.” Although brief, a TIA is a sign of a serious condition that will not go away without medical help.

Unfortunately, because TIAs clear up, many people ignore them. But paying attention to a TIA can save your life. If you think you or someone you know has had a TIA, tell a healthcare team about the symptoms right away.

Risk factors

Many factors can increase the risk of stroke. Potentially treatable stroke risk factors include:

Lifestyle risk factors

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Physical inactivity
  • Heavy or binge drinking
  • Use of illegal drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine

Medical risk factors

  • High blood pressure
  • Cigarette smoking or secondhand smoke exposure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, heart defects, heart infection, or irregular heart rhythm, such as atrial fibrillation
  • Personal or family history of stroke, heart attack, or transient ischemic attack
  • COVID-19 infection

Other factors associated with a higher risk of stroke include:

  • Age — People aged 55 or older have a higher risk of stroke than younger people.
  • Race or ethnicity — African Americans and Hispanics have a higher risk of stroke than people of other races or ethnicities.
  • Sex — Men have a higher risk of stroke than women. Women are usually older when they have strokes, and they’re more likely to die of strokes than men.
  • Hormones — Using birth control pills or hormone therapies, including estrogen, increases risk.


A stroke can sometimes cause temporary or permanent disabilities, depending on how long the brain lacks blood flow and which part is affected. Complications may include:

  • Paralysis or loss of muscle movement. You may become paralyzed on one side of the body, or lose control of certain muscles, such as those on one side of the face or one arm.
  • Difficulty talking or swallowing. A stroke might affect control of the muscles in the mouth and throat, making it difficult for you to talk clearly, drink, or eat. You also may have difficulty with language, including speaking or understanding speech, reading, or writing.
  • Memory loss or thinking difficulties. Many people who have had strokes experience some memory loss. Others may have difficulty thinking, reasoning, making judgments, and understanding concepts.
  • Emotional problems. People who have had strokes may have more difficulty controlling their emotions or develop depression.
  • Pain. Pain, numbness, or other unusual sensations may occur in the parts of the body affected by stroke. For example, if a stroke causes you to lose feeling in the left arm, you may develop an uncomfortable tingling sensation in that arm.
  • Changes in behavior and self-care ability. People who have had strokes may become more withdrawn. They may need help with grooming and daily chores.


stroke patient doctor supportKnowing your stroke risk factors, following your healthcare provider’s recommendations, and adopting a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take to prevent a stroke. If you’ve had a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA), these measures might help prevent another stroke. The follow-up care you receive in the hospital and afterward also may play a role.

Many stroke prevention strategies are the same as strategies to prevent heart disease. In general, healthy lifestyle recommendations include the following:

  • Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension). This is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your stroke risk. If you’ve had a stroke, lowering your blood pressure can help prevent a subsequent TIA or stroke. Healthy lifestyle changes and medications are often used to treat high blood pressure.
  • Lowering the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in your diet. Eating less cholesterol and fat, especially saturated fat and trans fats, may reduce buildup in the arteries. If you can’t control your cholesterol through dietary changes alone, your doctor may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication.
  • Quitting tobacco use. Smoking increases the stroke risk for smokers and nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke. Quitting tobacco use reduces the risk of stroke.
  • Managing diabetes. Diet, exercise, and losing weight can help you keep your blood sugar in a healthy range. If lifestyle factors don’t seem to be enough to control your diabetes, your doctor may prescribe diabetes medication.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight contributes to other stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
  • Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. A diet containing five or more daily servings of fruits or vegetables may reduce the risk of stroke. The Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes olive oil, fruit, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains, may be helpful.
  • Exercising regularly. Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of stroke in many ways. Exercise can lower blood pressure, increase good cholesterol levels, and improve the overall health of the blood vessels and heart. It also helps you lose weight, control diabetes, and reduce stress. Gradually work up to at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity — such as walking, jogging, swimming, or bicycling — on most, if not all, days of the week.
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all. Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of high blood pressure, ischemic strokes, and hemorrhagic strokes. Alcohol may also interact with other drugs you’re taking. However, drinking small to moderate amounts of alcohol, such as one drink daily, may help prevent ischemic stroke and decrease blood clotting tendency. Talk to your doctor about what’s appropriate for you.
  • Treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Your doctor may recommend a sleep study if you have symptoms of OSA — a sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing for short periods repeatedly during sleep. Treatment for OSA includes a device that delivers positive airway pressure through a mask to keep the airway open while you sleep.
  • Avoiding illegal drugs. Certain street drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, are established risk factors for a TIA or a stroke.

There are common signs of a stroke, but they can often go unnoticed until it’s too late. That’s why both patients and caretakers alike need to recognize these signs quickly so that appropriate medical care can be provided without delay. If you think someone is having a stroke, don’t hesitate — call 911 immediately! Knowing your personal risk factors for strokes is also vital in preventing them from occurring altogether; speak with your doctor today about ways to reduce your risk through lifestyle changes such as eating healthy foods and exercising regularly. Taking action today could save someone’s life tomorrow!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.