Going to the dentist for dental treatment can already be a worrisome task for some, especially when combined with potential risk from certain medications or heart disease. If you are particularly nervous about undergoing a dental procedure because of your heart condition, talk with your dentist and heart doctor. Both practitioners can provide you with information and work with you to create strategies for controlling dental pain and easing your fears. Contact Bluff Creek Dental in Minneapolis regarding your dental treatment needs. Learn more about the links between dental treatment, cardiovascular problems, and medications below
Poor dental hygiene can cause many problems that aren’t limited to your mouth. For example, dental issues can impact the health of your heart.
Medical research has uncovered a definitive link between heart disease and certain kinds of oral infections such as periodontal disease. Some have even suggested that gum disease may be as dangerous as or more dangerous than other harmful triggers like tobacco use.
Basically, periodontal disease puts you at risk for infections and harmful bacteria in your mouth, which can spread through the bloodstream to your liver. Should that occur, the liver may produce harmful proteins that can lead to systemic cardiac problems. That’s why it’s critical to practice good oral hygiene like keeping a daily regimen of brushing, flossing, and rinsing, and seek regular dental treatment with your family dentist. Only with great oral care and dental treatment can you maximize your chances at keeping dental infections at bay.
The best precaution is to ask your family physician if any medications he or she has prescribed can have a detrimental effect on your teeth or other oral structures.
In some cases, patients with compromised immune systems or who fear an infection from a dental procedure may take antibiotics before visiting the dentist, but this is a case-by-case situation depending on the heart condition and type of dental treatment the patient will undergo.
It is possible for bacteria from your mouth to enter your bloodstream during a dental procedure in which tissues are cut or bleeding occurs. A healthy immune system will normally fight such bacteria before an infection develops. However, certain cardiovascular conditions that cause weakener hearts could put patients at risk for an infection or heart muscle inflammation, like bacterial endocarditis, resulting from a dental procedure. Therefore, patients with heart conditions, including weakened heart valves, are strongly advised to inform our dentist office before undergoing any dental treatment. The proper antibiotic will prevent any unnecessary complications.
Taking medications can be acceptable with regards to some dental treatments. But, keep in mind there are more side effects that may occur. For instance, a condition called “dry mouth” sometimes develops as a result of certain medications, including antihistamines, diuretics, decongestants, and pain killers. Dry mouth occurs when saliva production drops, and saliva is one of your body’s natural defenses against plaque because it acts to rinse your mouth of cavity-causing bacteria and other harmful materials.
Some of the less alarming results of dry mouth include bad breath. But dry mouth can lead to more serious problems as well, including burning tongue syndrome, a painful condition caused by lack of moisture on the tongue.
If you don’t experience dry mouth as a result of your medications, you may experience other conditions that dry mouth can cause, such as:
- Overly sensitive tongue
- Chronic thirst
- Difficulty speaking
People with medical conditions like eating disorders or diabetes are often plagued by dry mouth. Other causes are related to aging including rheumatoid arthritis and compromised immune systems.
All in all, several factors come into play when assessing the risk of medication and heart disease during dental treatments. At Bluff Creek Dental, you can rest assured that your safety is always our highest concern. If you have any questions or concerns about your dental care, please feel free to ask your family dentist at our dental office. Contact us today!