Dental Care for People with Heart Diseases

Are you suffering from a certain heart condition, or do you know someone who has one? If so, you shouldn't worry anymore because we are here to share some information that will help you protect your heart while maintaining your dental health.

If you have undergone a heart condition or heart surgery, ensure you inform your dentist about it. Also, taking the proper safety precautions help in your oral health. Finally, ensure that you feel safe and healthy by the time you leave the dentist's office.

In this article, we have discussed how your oral health impacts your heart, how preventative antibiotics help, and how daily oral help in supporting your heart health. At Arizona Family Dentistry, we're here to ensure you get the information you need to keep smiling.

How's My Heart Affected by Oral Health?

Everyone has bacteria in their mouths naturally. However, not practicing some oral care routine and dental treatments can make the bacteria get to the bloodstream.

Having a healthy immune system prevents bacteria from causing any health problems for most individuals. However, having bacteria in the bloodstream for people suffering from cardiac abnormalities or other heart conditions can cause endocarditis. Infective endocarditis or endocarditis is an inflammation of the heart's inner lining.

If you notice any oral symptom that is not healthy for your heart health, visit an emergency dentist near you for treatment.

What are Some of the Heart Conditions

Some of the heart conditions people suffer from include:

  • Dental Care After Heart Attack: 

You should talk to your cardiologist about any dental treatment you've undergone if they recommend waiting. Also, inform your dentist if you take blood-thinning drugs, also known as anticoagulants. These medications result in excessive bleeding during some oral surgery procedures. Finally, always ask your dentist if there's nitroglycerine and oxygen available in case of a medical emergency arising during your office visit.

  • High Blood Pressure or Hypertension

Some drugs used for high blood pressure can alter someone's sense of taste or cause your mouth to dry. In particular, calcium channel blockers can cause your gum tissue to swell and overgrow, which results in difficulties in chewing.

If you experience gum overgrowth, our dentist at Family Dentistry at Phoenix, AZ, will offer you detailed dental hygiene instructions. They may also request you to visit regularly for dental cleanings. In some cases, gingivectomy, a gum surgery to remove excess gum tissue, may be needed.

If anesthesia is needed in your dental procedure, ask your dentist if the anesthesia contains epinephrine. Epinephrine is an additive in local anesthesia, resulting in cardiovascular changes in some patients with high blood pressure. These changes include heart attack rapid development of dangerously high blood pressure. Therefore, epinephrine should be used with caution.

Preventative Antibiotics Before Dental Treatments

According to professionals from our dental office in Phoenix, taking antibiotics before a dental procedure can help destroy any harmful bacteria leading to endocarditis. In the past, antibiotic prophylaxis or premedication was recommended for various heart conditions. However, these days, premedication is recommended for patients with a high-risk heart condition. Premedication is recommended for people who have:

  • A history of endocarditis
  • Congenital heart defects
  • A heart valve that is repaired with prosthetic material
  • A heart transplant that includes abnormal heart valve function

Why is Proper Oral Health Critical for Heart Health?

Whether one is a candidate for premedication or not, you should always care for your oral health since it's essential in maintaining heart health. Proper oral health helps in controlling blood pressure and preventing adverse cardiovascular effects.

You should brush twice daily, floss daily and pay regular visits to the dentist. These practices are crucial, especially if your heart health requires proper care and helps prevent cavities and oral infections that lead to endocarditis. Also, it allows people with pre-existing heart conditions such as congenital heart disease and rheumatic heart disease who are at higher risk in case of poor oral hygiene.

If you have any heart conditions, remember to communicate with your dentist openly about your status. Also, have a daily oral care routine at home. This will help ensure that you receive the care and support you need.

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