In the European Stroke Journal, there appears to be an association between poor oral hygiene and increased risk of aspiration pneumonia – a leading cause of mortality post-stroke.
“Oral care tends to be of poor quality and delegated to the least qualified members of the caring team. Nursing staff often work in a pressured environment where other aspects of clinical care take priority.” From a social perspective, with bad breath, one is more likely to be overlooked.
In the European Union, the cost of dental care is expected to go up significantly. So people would be more likely to skip the dentist’s office, especially for older people with a fixed income.
For example, in the UK stroke is the third most common cause of death and ranks #1 in people with severe disability. Stroke costs the National Health Service (NHS) as well as the economy 7 billion a year. So we’re talking a lot of people.
In a recent study, the UK found these patients who often experience depression, anxiety, and fatigue to be less compliant with oral hygiene needs. Stroke, the study went on to say, sometimes results in confusion and the inability to recognise a toothbrush or floss in the early months.
The National Clinical Guidelines for Stroke in Australia emphasize the need for mouth hygiene following a stroke and the need for staff to be cognizant of the fact. Managing oral health post stroke is necessary, the guidelines go on to say, “and there is a need for an appropriate integrated oral care service in Australia.”
In Japan, a recent study found that tooth loss was related to stroke including not only ischemic but also hemorrhagic ones as well.
“It may be concluded that the association between stroke and tooth loss can be explained by common stroke risk factors associated with lifestyle such as hypertension, diabetes, smoking and alcohol intake.”
In addition, the key issue addressed in this study is determining whether dental treatment for tooth loss can be associated in preventing a second and more recurrent strokes. The jury is still out on that one. But with fewer teeth and ignoring dental visits, my mind is made up. What else can it be!
To conclude, watch this video to know my opinion! It might have been created before you were born! The 50s jingle goes like this: