Maintaining optimal oral hygiene is an important part of one’s overall health. We should brush twice daily and use floss regularly. If one has certain cardiovascular conditions, he should tell his dentist about his medications.
Oral health and heart disease are connected by the spread of bacteria and other germs from our mouth to other parts of our body through the bloodstream. Some studies have shown that bacteria in the mouth that are involved in the development of the periodontal disease can move into the bloodstream and cause an elevation in C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation in the blood vessels. These changes can, in turn, increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Who is at risk?
Patients with chronic gum conditions such as gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease have the highest risk for heart disease caused by poor oral health, particularly if it remains undiagnosed and unmanaged. Oral health problems, including tooth loss, periodontal disease, and dry mouth, accumulate throughout adult life and worsen with increasing age.
The most important thing one can do to avoid gum disease and maintain good oral health (including prevention of tooth decay or cavities) is:
Brush teeth twice a day with a fluoride-based toothpaste.
Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner.
Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
Get dental examinations done by a dentist regularly along with professional cleanings.
Making sure dentures fit properly
If you have cardiovascular disease, what should you tell your dentist?
First, make sure you give your dentist a complete medical history and list of the names and dosages of all the drugs you are taking for your cardiovascular condition (as well as any other prescription or nonprescription drugs you might be taking). This will help your dentist determine the best treatment for you, including medication selection for dental procedures.
Second, make sure to give your dentist the name and phone number of your doctor(s) in case your dentist needs to speak to him or her about your care.
Third, consult your dentist if you are particularly nervous about undergoing a dental procedure because you believe your stress, worry and fears could make your cardiovascular condition worse. He or she can provide you with information and work with you on strategies to control dental pain and ease your fears.
If you have cardiovascular disease and need oral surgery, you should talk to your dentist or surgeon about plans for pain control during and after surgery, including the use of anesthetics and sedation.
Suffered a Heart attack (myocardial infarction)?
It is best to wait at least six months after a heart attack before undergoing extensive dental treatments. You do not need to wait to have a dental cleaning. Ask your dentist if oxygen and nitroglycerin are available in case a medical emergency should arise during your office visit.
Doorstep Care for Cardiovascular patients
Patients suffering from heart disease can use doorstep home dental services where an experienced dentist visits the patient’s location anytime along with a Suitcase and set up a portable clinic in less than 5 minutes. This can help them avoid travel time and get the treatment in a comfortable space.