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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Heading to the Dentist with Heart-Related Health Problems

Feb 01, 2023 09:00AM ● By Elahe Wissinger
It is important to tell the dentist about any heart-related health issues. Your mouth and heart are linked in more ways than you might expect—and failing to inform your dentist about cardiovascular problems could spell serious trouble.
For your health and safety, be sure to let your dentist know if any of the below heart conditions apply to you.

Born or Developed Heart Ailments
Any heart ailment—whether past or present—should be discussed with the dentist. Many heart conditions, especially those involving the valves, come with a higher risk for a heart infection, or endocarditis. To prevent harmful oral bacteria from entering the bloodstream, speak with your heart doctor to verify if you need antibiotics prior to any dental treatment.

High Blood Pressure or High Cholesterol
Hypertension may cause faintness in the dentist’s chair while seated in a reclined position, and could also exclude you from certain procedures. If dentists are aware of this, they can make adjustments to minimize issues. To ensure that dental work isn’t causing any negative effects, blood pressure may be monitored before and during treatment.

Heart Attack or Stroke
All dental work must be held off for six months after a heart attack, and future treatment will require your physician’s authorization if needing medication prior to dental visits. Anti-coagulants, a common medication for those who have suffered a heart attack, can prevent blood from clotting, and certain procedures or surgeries may require you to stop using the medicine beforehand. Paralysis is a common outcome of a stroke; dental professionals may also recommend more frequent visits and different dental products and techniques to maintain proper hygiene.

Often characterized as intense pain in the chest, attacks can be triggered both by dental anxiety and certain dental procedures. Dentists may call for nitroglycerin and oxygen during treatment, as well as blood pressure monitoring. If you take calcium channel blockers to combat angina, more frequent checkups may be advised to monitor for gum overgrowth.

Use of a Pacemaker
Dental work should be avoided for a few weeks after the implantation of a pacemaker. Afterward, treatment can proceed, but it is critical to check with the doctor and even the pacemaker manufacturer for any potential electromagnetic interference that could be caused by common dental devices.

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
In minor cases, CHF patients may experience dry mouth due to their heart medications, and a dentist may prescribe an oral rinse and suggest certain habit modifications to combat the problem. In severe cases, CHF patients may experience serious complications if seated in a reclined position. Depending on the severity of the condition, it may be necessary for dental work to be completed in a hospital setting.

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)
While CABG may not have oral health implications, and antibiotics are usually not necessary before dental work is conducted, severe pain due to this surgery may be experienced when seated in a reclined position. Unless it is an emergency, wait six months before proceeding with any serious dental treatment.
Heart conditions—even those that have been corrected—can have a lasting impact on dental care, so stepping up efforts to prevent dental problems from happening in the first place is even more critical to maintaining good oral health. Consult with your dentist about necessary changes to your checkup schedule to help keep dental issues at bay.

E Dental Solutions is located at 2504 E River Rd, in Tucson. Connect at 520-745-5496 or See ad, back cover.

E Dental Solutions  Medicine Wheel Dental - 2504 E River Rd Tucson AZ

E Dental Solutions & Medicine Wheel Dental - 2504 E River Rd, Tucson, AZ

Elahe Wissinger, DMD & Steven Swidler, DDS Dentistry: Our mission is to build a partnership to achieve optimal dental health. The state-of-the-art technology, attention to our clie... Read More » 

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