Heart disease is not just a problem for the heart — it affects many other parts of the body, including oral health. High blood pressure, fatty build-ups in the arteries, and inflammation are all factors that contribute to gum disease and tooth loss.
The good news is that there are ways to help ward off these types of problems by taking care of your teeth and gums. Although poor dental health is not the primary cause of heart diseases, there is a connection between the two. Dental diseases can affect the heart and contribute to stroke, hypertension, cardiac arrest, and even death.
Heart disease is a condition in which the heart does not pump enough blood to the rest of the body. It can be caused by high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes, inflammation, and an overactive thyroid gland.
Heart disease can lead to chest pain or pressure. It can also lead to shortness of breath or dizziness with activity. Some people have no symptoms at all. Heart disease can cause sudden death due to abnormal heart rhythms or rupture of an aorta aneurysm.
The symptoms of heart disease vary depending on its cause. If you experience any of the following, it may be due to heart disease:
Anyone can develop heart disease. Risk factors for heart disease include:
Your dental and heart health are closely linked. Bacteria from dental cavities can cause infection in the body and may trigger an inflammation of the heart lining, both of which can lead to a heart stroke or attack. This is particularly likely if you have a pre-existing problem with the heart valves.
Grinding and clenching your teeth can also cause dental problems, such as a worn-down surface of the tooth, which may lead to dental cavities or gum disease. Research shows that people with gum disease are more likely to have a history of cardiovascular events than those who don’t have this dental problem.
Dentists ask heart patients about dental symptoms for several reasons. They use dental symptoms to screen for other health problems that might occur together with dental symptoms or affect dental care.
About 10% of people who have heart problems have dental symptoms before their first heart attack. Sometimes dental problems are the only signs that a person is having a heart attack or other cardiovascular problem. Dentists may find dental symptoms that are early signs of heart disease.
If you have heart disease, be sure to inform your dentist about it. He will need to know if you are taking any medications that affect dental health, including blood thinners. Your dental care provider can help you manage dental problems to prevent other complications. Our dentist in Phoenix, AZ, and your doctor should work together to keep you healthy and take extra steps in dental care to help control dental problems.
Heart attacks might lead to an inflammation in the mouth that could be fatal if it’s not treated in time. It is recommended that most dental procedures be postponed for six months after a heart attack, even with no damage to the mouth. This is because bacteria may enter the bloodstream and cause serious health problems elsewhere.
While dental care is a priority during recovery from heart surgery, even simple dental procedures can be a risk if you’re not feeling well. The recovery process for heart surgery will vary depending on the type and scale of the surgery. You will need to discuss dental care with your surgeon or cardiologist.
You also need your doctor’s permission before any dental work is done.
Visit Open Wide Dental for more information about dental care for heart patients and heart disease.
We welcome patients from all surrounding locations to visit our dental office in Phoenix, AZ