Gum Disease an Heart Health

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 04, 2013

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According to recent reports on oral health good oral health is essential to maintain overall health in any person. So brush properly twice a day and floss properly daily, and consult your dentist for regular checkups. Some studies have indicated that chronic gum disease may lead to the development of heart disease a major cause of illness and death both in men and women worldwide.


But how does this happen? Why does dental disease make a person prone to heart disease? Gum inflammation and bacterial infection can affect conditions outside your mouth. According to some experts - bacteria from an oral infection can enter the bloodstream and get attached to the fatty deposits in the heart blood vessels. This probably causes formation of blood clots and may lead to heart attack.


In people with heart disease, there is a special need to maintain proper oral health.


Measures to maintain the best oral health are:

  • Take good care of your teeth and gums-- Brush twice a day and floss daily
  • Consult your dentist for regular checkups every six months.
  • Inform your dentist about your heart problem.
  • Follow your physician's and dentist's advice specially regarding medications, such as antibiotics.


Dental Patients Should Alert Dentists About Heart Conditions


People with heart disease are at risk for developing bacterial endocarditis. Bacterial endocarditis indicates infection of the heart's inner lining or the valves. In people with heart disease the bacteria that enter the blood stream from mouth may settle on damaged heart valves or tissue weakened by an existing heart problem or heart condition. The resultant infection can aggravate the pre-existing condition. Hence any person with a known heart disease should inform his or her dentist about the heart problem.


If you have any of the following heart conditions you will need to take adequate precautions.

  • Artificial or prosthetic heart valves
  • Prior history of endocarditis
  • Congenital heart disease or heart valve defects
  • Damaged heart valves by diseases such as rheumatic fever
  • Cardiomyopathy


Be sure to inform your dentist about your heart problem, the medications you are taking and other specific history such as prior history of endocarditis. If your dentist is aware about your problem he or she can coordinate treatment with your physician.


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