The oral-systemic connection, which describes the connection between your oral health and your body’s wellbeing, has been the subject of myriad research across the world. However, the fact that the condition of your heart health can affect your dental treatment is not a new revelation, and has in fact been recognized by dental professionals for decades.
If you’ve recently undergone surgery or are suffering from a heart condition, then you may not be eligible for some invasive dental procedures and an alternative treatment or procedure may have to be chosen. Today, we explain a few common heart health issues that can affect the course of your periodontal treatment, and the considerations that must be taken.
How Heart Issues Impact Your Periodontal Care
High Blood Pressure
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a leading cause and instigator of many common heart diseases. The medications that are often prescribed to control blood pressure frequently result in dry mouth (xerostomia), which significantly increases your chances of developing periodontal disease. If you require periodontal treatment, then Dr. Kania will measure your blood pressure levels and control to determine if you may safely receive non-emergency treatment. Many patients with hypertension can also safely take a sedative to reduce their anxiety and discomfort during their treatment.
Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
The inflammation and blockage that can lead to a heart attack has been linked to the bacteria that cause gum inflammation and periodontal disease. Keeping your mouth disease-free can help reduce your risk of your heart attack, but if you require dental work after having one, then extra care is needed. Typically, you should wait at least six months after your heart attack before undergoing most dental treatments. Also, some medications can affect your treatment, such as blood thinners that can hinder your blood’s ability to clot. After consulting with your physician, Kania may recommend that you temporarily cease taking blood thinners before your periodontal treatment.
When your heart doesn’t receive as much oxygenated blood as it needs, the deficiency can result in angina, a severe pain that begins in the chest and can often spread to the shoulders, neck, and jaw regions. If you have angina, but it is stable, then you can usually receive periodontal treatment with no other consideration than having a supply of oxygen and nitroglycerin available. If your angina is unstable, however, you should not receive non-emergency treatment, and your heart must be constantly monitored if you do receive treatment.
ABOUT YOUR ENCINITAS/SAN DIEGO, CA, LASER PERIODONTIST:
As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Ann M. Kania is specially qualified to diagnose and treat issues concerning periodontal tissue and the supportive structures of a patient’s smile, as well as place dental implants to restore teeth lost to dental disease or trauma. Dr. Kania also offers the Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST) for minimally-invasive, scalpel-free gum grafting. To seek Dr. Kania’s expertise, contact her office today at (760) 642-0711.