Recently some controversy has arisen about whether there is any connection between oral health and heart health. It was thought that taking good care of your teeth and gums may also be good for your heart because infections or bacteria might be able to travel from your mouth through the bloodstream and infect the lining of the heart's chambers, a condition call infective endocarditis.
Although recent studies have called this thought process into question, people with the risk of heart disease or those who are currently suffering from heart disease are still wise to maintain high levels of oral health. If your heart is weak, you might not be able to effectively fight off any infections which start in your mouth. If you can't chew your food properly or are suffering from gum disease, you may become weak and reduce your chances of fighting heart disease.
People who currently have heart disease might be at risk for any number of chronic infections, not just in the mouth. But, if you are not practicing proper oral hygiene, the amount of bacteria in your mouth can increase substantially. If this leads to serious periodontal disease, your heart may not be able to take the stress of substantial dental work or oral surgery.
Steps to Maintain Your Oral Health if You Have Heart Issues
It may be helpful to use antimicrobial toothpaste and mouthwashes to reduce the chances of infection and gum disease in your mouth.
Consider the use of hygiene devices such as an electric toothbrush or water irrigation system to keep your mouth clean of debris that could cause an infection.
Schedule regular dental cleanings with a dental hygienist.
Choose a dentist who has experience dealing with patients who have heart disease. Ask whether the use of antimicrobial drugs to fight infection is indicated for your specific health situation.
If you are on blood thinners to reduce clotting, make sure your dental professional is aware of this before starting on any type of dental surgery.
ChooseYourDentist.com is your go-to source for dental information and dental education. If you are concerned about heart disease or would like further information on heart disease and oral health, use our dental profiles to help find a general dentist or family dentist who can help because ChooseYourDentist.com is "where patients and dentists meet."