Five Questions Every Stroke Survivor Needs Answered

Dentist in McKinney

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When patients Dr. Paul Lawrence, your trusted dentist in McKinney, TX, think of the causes of stroke, many probably don’t realize that poor oral health can be a contributing factor. In recent years, a number of studies have found compelling links between an individual’s oral health and his or her risk of stroke.

Each year in the U.S., nearly 800,000 people suffer a stroke, 600,000 of which are first time attacks. On average, someone will suffer a stroke every 40 seconds in the U.S., accounting for nearly one out of every 17 deaths. For those fortunate to survive, attempting to recover from a stroke will rank as one of the most difficult feats they will ever have to manage.

Individuals striving to recover from their first stroke inevitably have a number of pressing questions about their condition and whether they will ever return to full health. While it’s difficult to predict in advance how a patient will recover, the first few weeks can say a lot about how much damage has occurred and what a patient’s prospects are for the future.

How well a patient recovers depends largely on the type of stroke suffered, how much brain damage occurred as a result of the stroke, a patient’s age, and how quickly rehabilitation began, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. To help patients understand what the months following their stroke may portend, the following questions can be used as a guide.

Dentist in McKinney Blog – What Caused the Stroke?

Approximately 85 percent of all strokes occur as a result of a blockage cutting of blood flow to the brain, which is usually the result of a blood cot. This type of stroke is called an ischemic stroke, while a hemorrhagic stroke occurs due to a ruptured blood vessel in the brain.

Knowing the type of stroke a patient had can help a physician determine what was the underlying cause. An ischemic stroke, for example, may have been caused by a buildup of plaque- a combination of blood fats, or a mixture of cholesterol and other lipids- resulting in a blocked artery. Individuals who have a hardening of the arteries due to a buildup of plaque, a condition referred to as atherosclerosis, have a higher risk of suffering this type of stroke. Hemorrhagic stroke often results from high blood pressure. By managing both of these conditions a patient can reduce their risk of suffering from a second stroke.

Dentist in McKinney Blog- What’s the Risk of Suffering a Second Stroke?

A patient’s risk of suffering a second stroke is greatest immediately following the initial stroke. Roughly three percent of all survivors will suffer a second stroke within 30 days of their first stroke, and one-third of all survivors will suffer a second stroke within two years.

However, the risk of suffering a second stroke varies greatly from patient-to-patient. For patients to properly assess their risk of suffering a second stroke, they need to understand their specific risk factors and talk with their doctor to create a plan to reduce them.

Already the leading cause of stroke, high blood pressure also represents the most significant risk factor as well. While patients who have diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart disease also have a higher risk for suffering a stroke, a variety of lifestyle choices can also raise a patient’s risk of stroke, including illicit drug use, heavy alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, obesity, and cigarette smoking.

Dentist in McKinney Blog – What’s the Recovery Process for Stroke?

While each patient will have his or her stroke rehabilitation program tailored to their needs, the majority of patients will follow a similar path. Patients will begin by performing assisted in hospital exercises one their medical condition has stabilized. From there, patients may then enter a rehabilitation facility where they will receive more intensive therapy. Once patients return home, they may start to receive outpatient therapy to help them recover as quickly as possible.

Patients can expect the formal part of their therapy to last between three to six months. However, studies have found that patients who continue to practice the skills they have learned during rehab continue to see progress made long after their stroke occurred.

Dentist in McKinney Blog – How Long Does Recovery Take?

The recovery time for stroke varies with each patient. While some patients who have suffered a minor or mild stroke can recover very quickly, for the majority of stroke survivors, recovery is a life-long process. Even though the biggest gains of stroke recovery are made within the first three months, a patient can continue to make strives years later.

Dentist in McKinney Blog – Do Stroke Patients Suffer from Depression?

Depression following a stroke is very common among patients. Stroke survivors and their caregivers should talk with a doctor in order to understand the symptoms of depression so they know what to look for. Researchers believe that post-stroke depression results as a change in the biochemistry of the brain following a stroke. Depression is also a completely normal reaction to the loses caused by a stroke. Whatever the reason, patients suffering from depression need to seek treatment in order to make their physical and mental recovery from stroke.

Dentist in McKinney Blog- Lower Your Risk

While certain genetic and health factor related to stroke may be unavoidable, patients of McKinney dentist Dr. Paul Lawrence can lower their risk of stroke by practicing quality oral hygiene, which the American Dental Association considers brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Patients also need to schedule regular checkups and cleanings with Dr. Lawrence to ensure their oral health remains in good standing now and in the future.