Stroke Essay

912 Words2 Pages

Stroke has been implicated as the third leading cause of death1. It’s occurrence increases with age, with two-thirds of stroke victims being over 65 years old2. The elderly population is increasing, with 20% of the U.S. population expected to be over 65 years old by the year 20303. As future dentists, these are the people we will one day be treating in our practices. Therefore, it is important for us to be able to properly prevent, recognize, and manage the diseases of the elderly population.
Even though we are not medical doctors, there are a few ways dentists can help in preventing strokes. Many of these ways include knowing and being able to recognize the risk factors. Some of the risk factors for stroke include diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, tobacco use, alcohol use, contraceptives, and a previous history of stroke2. Therefore, taking a thorough medical history is imperative. Another risk factor is having high blood pressure. As a result, the dentist should take the patient’s blood pressure upon every visit. Blood pressure reduction is one of the most effective approaches in the prevention of strokes4.
Recognizing when someone is having a stroke is essential in being able to handle the medical emergency. The American Stoke Association suggests using the F.A.S.T technique to recognize when someone is having a stroke. F stands for face drooping. Ask the patient to smile and see if it is uneven. A stands for arm weakness. Ask the patient to raise both arms and see if one is lower than the other. S stands for speech difficulty. Ask the patient to repeat a simple sentence and see if they can do so correctly. T stands for time to call 9-1-15. As a dentist, it is important to notice these symptoms and act quickly to allow the...

... middle of paper ... contributed to her stroke. An interesting study looked at whether or not periodontitis was associated with strokes. The study took place in Seoul, South Korea, which was where my grandmother lived. They found periodontitis to be independently associated with non-fatal strokes in a non-Western population6.
In conclusion, a dentist needs to know how to properly prevent, recognize, and manage a stroke patient. With a growing elderly population, this is more imperative than ever. Patients are living longer and we want them to enjoy it by ensuring a good quality of life. Therefore, it is important that we don’t treat all our patients the same, but realize they are all unique individuals with unique needs. This might mean not only taking care of their dental problems, but other health issues as well. Our goal should be to optimize the overall health of our patient.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that stroke is the third leading cause of death, with two-thirds of stroke victims being over 65 years old. the elderly population is growing, and future dentists need to be able to properly prevent, recognize and manage diseases of the elderly.
  • Explains that dentists can help prevent strokes by knowing and recognizing the risk factors, such as diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, tobacco use, alcohol usage, contraceptives, and high blood pressure.
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