Why your Preparation for Heart Surgery should include a Dental Visit

October 19, 2019
Avatar for Raul GarciaRaul Garcia

see dentist before heart surgeryMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Thousands of Americans undergo heart surgery every single day. Any form of heart surgery is a serious medical procedure, and if you’re scheduled for an operation of this type, you need to make specific preparations. Seeing your dentist needs to be part of your to-do list before any heart surgery.

Here’s why your Miami dentist should provide clearance before any cardiac procedure

Ever heard that the mouth is the window to the body? This is because problems with oral health can cause issues throughout your body. Bacteria occur naturally in your mouth, but if your dental hygiene is bad, your mouth may be a breeding ground for bad bacteria that can lead to the formation of cavities, or cause an infection in your gums that leads to gum disease. 

Your gums are an important part of your oral health and your overall health. If neglected, gum disease will develop. People in the initial stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, often experience bleeding gums when they brush their teeth or have dental work done. Swelling, pain, and redness in the gums also are common symptoms of gingivitis.

Gum disease is an American epidemic

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that half of all Americans over the age of 30 have gum disease. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, gum disease is the culprit behind 70 percent of adult tooth loss, affecting three of every four people in the United States at some point in their life.

If you’re experiencing any of the gum issues listed above that are indicators of gingivitis, you should make an appointment with your dentist in Miami as soon as possible. If you’re also planning to undergo heart surgery, the urgency to see your dentist increases exponentially. The germs that cause gum disease can filter from your mouth into the bloodstream, causing higher inflammation throughout your body and eventually threatening your overall health. The bacteria even can travel into your heart, infecting the heart muscle and causing a serious infection. If you have a heart valve replaced, the infection could attack the replacement site and may require a repeat operation.

Following cardiac surgery, you may be prescribed an anti-coagulant. Medications of this type prevent the formation of blood clots, which could be potentially fatal. Taking an anti-coagulant also increases your likelihood of bleeding throughout your body, including from your gums.

Follow this dental checklist before heart surgery

First off, start being diligent about your dental hygiene by brushing twice per day and be sure to floss daily as well. Next, eliminate negative habits like smoking, and avoid or limit your consumption of alcohol. You’ll have to stop these behaviors before cardiac surgery anyway, and they also can place your gums and oral health in greater peril.

The dentists at Miami Designer Smiles can perform a thorough examination to give you dental clearance before your heart surgery in Miami. If you do have gum disease, we offer a thorough program of periodontal treatment to get your gums in a good state of health before your surgery. To schedule your appointment, call our office at (305) 595-4616.

Miami Designer Smiles is here to serve patients in the areas of Miami and Coral Gables, Florida.

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