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Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease - Oral Hygiene and Endocarditis

Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease – Oral Hygiene and Endocarditis

Is there a link between periodontal disease and heart disease?

According to the current state of medicine, heart disease can be caused by chronic periodontal disease too. Approximately fifty thousand people die each year just in Hungary from heart attacks caused by obesity, hypertension, smoking, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Recent research shows that there can indeed be a link between periodontal disease and heart disease, no matter how incredible it may seem on first hearing.

How is it possible? During a heart attack, one of the arteries that supply the tissues of the heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked, and the supply of oxygen to the tissues is cut off, and the heart muscle cells are damaged. The most common cause of obstruction is narrowing due to atherosclerosis and blood clots in the stenosis, explains cardiologist Dr. Anna Marton. Atherosclerosis can also be caused by a sedentary lifestyle, eating too fatty and sugary foods, and neglecting dental care, according to studies by British researchers.

Periodontal infection is a bacterial infection that can affect other organs once it develops. According to some theories, in heart patients, bacteria enter the bloodstream from the direction of infection, where blood clots form, the fatty deposits colonize in the blood vessels, and this can contribute to the development of a heart attack.

Normally, the bacteria in our mouths do not get into the bloodstream. Neglecting the teeth, and the accompanying gingivitis and bleeding gums, however, cause small injuries on the surface of the gums, through which pathogens can enter the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, they stick to the platelets and force them to clot. And the process of blood clotting can lead to blood clots. Inflammation has been shown to play a significant role in the development of atherosclerosis, as inflammatory processes in the vessel wall gradually narrow the blood vessels, which can result in some form of heart disease. It is clear, then, that periodontal disease and heart disease can be linked.

Frequently asked question after diagnosing a heart problem:
If I have heart problems, what special measures should I take to keep my mouth healthy

Dentist’s answer:
– Be sure to tell your dentist if you have any of these problems.
– Always observe proper oral hygiene.
– Brush your teeth daily and use dental floss.
– See your dentist regularly, at least every six months.
– Follow your doctor’s and dentist’s instructions exactly and take the prescription medicines, such as antibiotics, as prescribed.

What are the potential risks of dental treatment for me?
If you already have pre-existing heart complaints, there may be so-called bacterial endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart or heart valves) is a risk of developing a more serious heart problem. As discussed above, if bleeding occurs in the oral cavity, certain oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and settle on abnormal heart valves or tissues weakened by previous heart disease. In such cases, periodontal disease and heart disease may be associated with each other.

If any of the following apply to you, appropriate precautions should be taken
You have artificial heart valves,
Previous endocarditis,
You have congenital heart or heart valve problems,
You have damaged (scarred) heart valves due to rheumatic fever or similar complaints,
He has heart murmurs of mitral prolapse.

Other adverse effects of poor oral hygiene
Diabetes is often accompanied by deterioration of the condition of the teeth, so in this case, we need to monitor the condition of the oral cavity closely, it should be checked regularly. Neglected teeth, gingivitis, can make it difficult to control the disease and adjust the necessary blood sugar levels.

Severe gum disease can increase the risk of preterm birth and the birth of a low birth weight fetus. According to research data, bacteria in the mouth release toxins that affect the development of the fetus through the mother’s bloodstream into the placenta. At the same time, the infection also contributes to the premature onset of labor.

So, if we don’t care properly about the integrity of our mouth and teeth, periodontal disease can develop, exposing our bodies to more serious health risks. Please always tell your dentist if you have any similar problems or what medications you need to take.

Steps to proper dental care to avoid periodontal disease and heart disease

  • Brushing your teeth is recommended after every meal, but at least twice a day to ensure complete removal of food debris and plaque and to prevent the growth of bacteria that damage teeth and periodontal.
  • As a first step, wash all the teeth inside and out in a circular motion with the toothbrush fitted to the junction of the tooth and gums and then rub the chewing surfaces thoroughly. A thorough brushing takes 3-5 minutes. During this time, wash all available surfaces of each tooth thoroughly.
  • On surfaces adjacent to the gums, keep the toothbrush 45 degrees and clean both outside and inside, by fitting the toothbrush to the border of the tooth and gums. At the end of brushing, it is also important to carefully clean the back of the tongue.
  • Also, do not forget to use dental floss to remove food debris and plaque from your teeth that you can no longer reach with a toothbrush.

As has been said, it is not just periodontal disease and heart disease that can be linked. Periodontal diseases can also be the cause of a number of other diseases, so special care must be taken to keep our teeth healthy. An important guarantee of overall health is the health of our teeth and oral cavity. Whoever understands this will protect himself from many additional inconveniences.


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Source: iliDent Patient Coordinator Center © Copyright 2021


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