What is Periodontal Disease? 8 Important Tips for Heart Patients

Infections of the structures around the tooth, such as gums and tissues, are called periodontal diseases. Good oral hygiene is imperative for an individual’s well being.

Any periodontal disease persisting for long will affect your overall health and eventually may even harm your heart. Studies suggest that various periodontal ailments of the mouth can increase the risk of cardiac diseases among people.

While poor dental hygiene can lead to heart diseases such as Infective Endocarditis, certain medications given to cardiac patients need to be stopped prior to a dental treatment. Studies are ongoing about the possible effects that dental problems have on the heart.

But it is always advised to take good care of the teeth for your overall well-being. The following guide and tips will definitely help you in maintaining good dental health, and might benefit your heart too.

What are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?

• Bad breath
• Swollen gums
• Bleeding gums
• Loose teeth

The Heart Link:

Bacteria causing periodontal disease can enter bloodstream become incorporated into the plaque buildup in the arteries, and exacerbate inflammation.

Regions of blood vessels that might already be developing plaque due to cholesterol are stimulated further, which can narrow the artery.

What is Periodontal Disease

Important Tips for Dental Treatment and Heart Patients:

1. Endocarditis:

Infection of mouth can spread through blood stream and affect the heart. Infection of the inner layer of heart by organisms is known as Infective Endocarditis and can be harmful to the heart, if left untreated.

The risk of endocarditis from periodontal disease increases among patients who have valve diseases of the heart. Endocarditis patients are treated with antibiotics before undergoing dental treatment. Infective Endocarditis can be prevented through good lifestyle practices including dental hygiene.

2. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD):

Individuals suffering from periodontal or gum diseases are more likely to have coronary artery disease than people with healthy mouths.

3. Heart Attack:

A heart attack can sometimes feel like a pain that starts in the chest and spreads to the lower jaw. Other times it may be a pain that starts in the jaw or in the left arm or shoulder

4. Angina:

Pain developing in the chest area is called angina, and this can even spread to the jaws. Some medications that angina patients take are known to cause gum overgrowth.

5. Heart Failure:

Medications given to patients of this disease are known to cause dry mouth. Dry mouth is associated with taste disorders and is also known to cause tooth decay.

6. Blood Thinning Drugs:

Cardiac patients who are using blood thinners need to stop it for 3 to 5 days before undergoing any dental treatment. Always contact the physician before opting for such procedures.

7. Pacemakers:

There are no specific oral effects caused by having a pacemaker – a medical device that regulates heart beats. However, it is recommended to avoid dental procedures for the first couple of weeks after getting the pacemaker.

Also Read: How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

8. High Blood Pressure:

Patients with some anti-hypertensive medications may feel dizzy or at times faint, if they are undergoing any dental procedure. Also, hypertensive patients who take drugs to reduce the blood pressure (Calcium channel blockers) may develop gum swelling.

SOURCE: B-Positive Health Magazine

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