Although the connection between oral health and heart health is not real clear, it has been suggested by doctors that it is important to keep both healthy. Taking care of your oral health and overall health, will not only get you a bright white smile, but may also lead to good heart health. There are several conditions that can be linked to oral health and heart health.
1. Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart. It typically occurs when bacteria from another part of your body, usually your mouth, that ends up spreading through your bloodstream and attaches to already damaged areas of your heart.
2. Cardiovascular disease is usually linked to clogged arteries, stroke, and heart disease, which are caused by inflammation and infections that bacteria from oral hygiene can cause.
3. Having good heart health means taking action in order to prevent the onset of diabetes. Diabetes can reduce your body’s resistance to infection, which can also put your gums at risk. A person with diabetes is more prone to gum disease.
4. Research has shown that people with heart disease also have periodontitis, which is an infection and inflammation of the bones and ligaments that support your teeth.
5. By quitting smoking you can not only reduce the risk of heart disease, but you can also reduce your chances of gum disease.
6. A theory that has been researched by doctors to be true is that inflammation of the mouth can cause inflammation in a person’s blood vessels.
7. Some symptoms of periodontal disease that you should be aware of are continuous bad breath, red, swollen, or tender gums, bleeding gums when you brush your teeth, and loose teeth.
8. Patients who already have heart conditions are at a higher risk for endocarditis.
9. It is important to check with your doctor before having any dental work done if you already have certain heart conditions. Research has shown that people with certain existing heart conditions need to take certain antibiotics in order to avoid complications from the bacteria that have formed in the mouth.
10. It is important to know that people with heart valve dysfunction, calcified aortic disease, congenital heart conditions, and bicuspid valve disease do not take antibiotics before any dental treatments.
11. It is recommended that people who have had a heart attack wait at least six months before having any kind of dental work performed in order to make sure that their heart health is good and their heart can handle the stress of dental work.
12. Blood pressure can play a role in whether it is ok for you to have any kind of oral surgery. If you have high blood pressure you need to let your dentist know before any dental work is performed so he or she can take the proper precautions.