If you are affected by heart disease, you cannot overlook dental care because you have special needs. However, there are some suggestions to consider before visiting dentists if you suffer from one of the cited heart conditions in this article.
Dental Care Following Heart Attacks
If you need any dental treatments after a heart attack, discuss the situation with your cardiologist to ensure they don’t recommend waiting. Inform your dentist of blood-thinning drugs or anticoagulants as they are called. These medicines result in excessive bleeding when undergoing any dental procedures.
If you need oral surgery for any reason, enquire with your dentist whether they have oxygen and nitroglycerin in the dentist’s office for use in a medical emergency during your visit.
Some drugs for high blood pressure can cause xerostomia to alter your sense of taste. In addition, specific calcium channel blockers can cause gum tissue swelling and overgrowth to result in chewing challenges. If you experience gum overgrowth, your dentist undoubtedly provides comprehensive oral hygiene instructions and requests you to make frequent visits for cleanings. In some instances, gum grafting to remove excess called a gingival graft may become necessary.
If your dental procedure entails using anesthesia, inquire with your dentist whether the anesthesia contains epinephrine, a common additive in local anesthesia. The use of local anesthesia containing epinephrine with high pressure can result in the rapid development of hypertension, angina, heart attack, and arrhythmias requiring the use of caution.
If you receive channel blockers for treating chest pain, you may have gum overgrowth. In such instances, gum grafting surgery may become a necessity. Similar to patients with earlier heart attacks, if you have chest pain or angina, you must inquire with the dentist whether oxygen and nitroglycerin are available to deal with medical emergencies should they arise.
Patients with stable angina can undergo any dental procedure. However, the same doesn’t apply to unstable angina. They must refrain from having elective dental procedures, and emergency dental care is best performed in hospital settings equipped with cardiac monitoring capability.
If you have had a stroke earlier, inform your dentist about the anticoagulants you take. Anticoagulants result in excessive bleeding during oral surgical procedures. However, if your stroke has tarnished your ability to produce good saliva, your dentist might suggest using artificial saliva. In addition, suppose your stroke has affected your face, tongue, or hand and arms. In that case, your dentist might also recommend using fluoride gels besides modified brushing and flossing techniques and add rinsing and other strategies to help you maintain proper oral hygiene.
Are Oral Health and Heart Failure Connected?
Some medications helpful for treating heart failures, like water pills and diuretics, are also responsible for causing dry mouth. Inquire with your dentist about treatments for dry mouth or using artificial saliva.
Things to Remember about Heart Disease and Dental Care
Give your dentist in Surrey, BC, the entire list of medications you take, including names and dosages for your heart condition besides any other prescription or nonprescription drugs. The information helps the dentist decide on the best course of treatment for you, including the medications to use during dental procedures. Provide the dentist with your cardiologist’s name and phone number if they wish to speak to them about your care. If you are anxious about undergoing dental procedures because of heart problems, discuss the issue with your dentist and cardiologist. The professionals can provide the information you need and work with you on strategies to control dental pain and anxiety.
Are Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease Connected?
The relationship between periodontal disease and heart disease is undergoing research from various researchers and government agencies. Speculations are rife by researchers that bacteria in the mouth responsible for the development of gum disease can spread into the bloodstream to cause inflammation in the blood vessels besides changes that contribute to heart disease and strokes.
Studies are ongoing that support and refute the links between these two conditions. For example, the journal of the American Heart Association published a study in the stroke claiming people with fewer than 25 teeth and starting a 12-year trial had a 57 percent higher risk of stroke than patients with 25 or more teeth.
Similarly, another study involving 4000 patients and 17 years of follow-up displayed no evidence of a reduced risk of coronary heart disease after eliminating chronic gum disease. The researchers speculate the relationship between gum disease and an increase in cardiovascular conditions based on the results of the above studies; however, the risks are coincidental, and gum disease is not responsible for coronary heart disease. Whether gum disease and heart disease are connected remains to be determined if any role exists.
If you have heart conditions and require dental care, please visit Dental Zone, a practice with facilities needed to treat patients like you.