Taking care of teeth and gums is important after stroke.

Last updated: 04 May 2020

Effects of stroke

  • dry mouth
  • difficulty swallowing
  • weak tongue muscles
  • arm and hand weakness
  • reduced feeling in your mouth
  • weak face muscles.

The effects of stroke can impact your ability to clean your teeth and gums

  • Makes it harder to brush your teeth properly
  • Leads to a build-up of leftover food in your mouth
  • Increases the amount of acid that stays in your mouth
  • Can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Getting Help

Speak to any health care provider about your oral health concerns. If this is not your dental practitioner, this could be your:

  • GP
  • Physio
  • Speech Pathologist.

 Ask them to refer you to a dental practitioner close to your home. Speaking up is the best way to address any oral health concern.

A healthy mouth


  • Sensation in your mouth
  • Your speech
  • Your general health.

 Decreases your risk of:

  • Pneumonia
  • Gum disease and tooth decay


  • Brush your teeth two times a day
  • Consider an electronic toothbrush for an easier clean
  • Use low foaming tooth paste with fluoride
  • After brushing spit, don’t rinse
  • Use thicker toothbrush handlers to assist grip
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day
  • Sit upright to eat and drink
  • Speak to any health care providers about your oral health.

Patients on modified diets should always follow advice from their speech pathologist.


  • Don’t forget oral health. Teeth must be brushed twice a day and dentures cleaned daily.
  • Check your client’s mouth after every meal or leftover food.
  • Be mindful that it may feel strange for your client to receive oral care.
  • Use a ‘Tell-Show-Do’ approach. Tell your client what you will do. Show them. Do what you said.
  • Encourage regular dental visits. Tell the dental practitioner of any changes you notice such as redness, swelling or smell.
  • Ensure that your client drinks water throughout the day.

How do I access dental care?

Phone numbers for NSW Public Dental Clinic Contact Centres

Local health districtPhone number
Central Coast1300 789 404
Illawarra Shoalhaven1300 369 651
Hunter New England1300 651 625
Far West(02) 6809 8621
Mid North Coast1300 651 625
Murrumbidgee1800 450 046
Nepean Blue Mountains1300 769 221
Northern NSW1300 651 625
Northern Sydney1300 732 503
South Eastern Sydney1300 134 226
Southern NSW1800 450 046
South Western Sydney(02) 9293 3333
Sydney​​(02) 9293 3333
Western Sydney(02) 8890 6766
Western NSW1300 552 626

* Proudly supported by the NSW Government in association with South Western Sydney Local Health District and Western Sydney Local Health District