HOW DOES THIRD MOLARS INFECTION
RELATE TO HEART DISEASE?

Your heart and mouth perform two very different functions, but the actions of one still affect the other. For example, the dental condition periodontitis causes inflammation that can increase the likelihood of developing one of several serious health conditions like heart disease. Periodontitis happens when your body tries to fight the growth of bacterial overgrowth that occurs because of cavities. Left unchecked, the infection can get into your bloodstream and travel to your heart, increasing the risk for bacterial endocarditis if you have certain heart valve defects. This gives the bacteria an easier place to take hold and grow. It’s rare for a person with a normal heart to get endocarditis.

 

Bacterial endocarditis is a bacterial infection of the inner layer of the heart or the heart valves. The heart has 4 valves. These valves help the blood flow through the heart and lungs and out to the body. When a person has bacterial endocarditis, these valves may not work correctly. This can force the heart to work harder to get blood out to the body. Sometimes the heart can’t pump out enough blood. Bacterial endocarditis is a serious condition that can sometimes lead to death.

DID YOU KNOW THAT DEATHS FROM CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE CONTRIBUTE TO 30% OF DEATHS ANNUALLY? IT IS A LEADER AMONG THE CAUSES OF DEATH AMONG BOTH MEN AND WOMEN IN THE U.S.

Not all cases of bacterial endocarditis can be prevented. But you can lower some of these risks. For example, prompt treatment of a strep infection can help prevent rheumatic heart disease. Keeping your mouth clean and healthy can also lower your risk. Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice per day is a good place to start. For maximum effectiveness, one of the times should be right before you go to sleep for the night. Flossing your teeth is essential also since it removes food particles between teeth that can cause irritation and eventual gum disease. Additionally, be sure to visit your dentist for a cleaning and exam every six months. It is also important to eat right, exercise, drink alcohol in moderation, and not smoke or quit smoking. Losing weight if necessary or remaining at a healthy body weight are also important for the prevention of both conditions, periodontitis and heart disease. Keep in mind that people with gum disease develop heart disease twice as often as those without it.

You may need to take antibiotics before some medical and dental procedures. This is to help prevent endocarditis if you have an artificial heart valve (heart valve repair with artificial material). You may need to take antibiotics if you have certain kinds of congenital heart disease, a history of endocarditis, or had a heart transplant with a leaky heart valve. It is imperative that you tell us about your heart health history.

Treat on time any infection that is present in your mouth and body. Do not wait until you have pain to receive treatment. Be preventive and act on time.

If your dentist indicated you need to extract you wisdom teeth, it is time to do it.


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