Medication & Heart Disease

Medications & Your Teeth

Certain medications can have an adverse effect on your teeth.

Years back, children that were exposed to tetracycline not only had tooth problems, but experienced discoloration, later in life. That medication, however, is no longer in use so it’s not an issue today.

Ask your family doctor if any medications he or she has prescribed might have a effect on your teeth or other possible oral structures.

There is a condition called dry mouth, which is associated with certain types of medications. These might include antihistamines, diuretics, decongestants and or painkillers. You might have dry mouth if you have a medical condition like an eating disorder or diabetes. Other causes can be linked to aging such as rheumatoid arthritis and compromised immune systems. Garlic and tobacco can also cause such a condition.

A drop in saliva production causes dry mouth. Saliva, however, is a natural defense against plaque. It acts as a cleansing agent rinsing your mouth of cavity-causing bacteria and other harmful materials.

There are instances where dry mouth can lead to more serious problems. These could include burning tongue syndrome, which is a painful condition due to lack of moisture on the tongue.

Heart Disease & Your Teeth

Did you know, your heart can be impacted by poor dental hygiene?

Certain kinds of oral infections, such as periodontal disease, have been linked to heart disease following medical research. There have been suggestions that gum disease may be more dangerous than other factors, such as tobacco use.

Medical researchers have associated a condition called chronic periodontitis, or persistent gum disease. This condition has been linked to cardiovascular difficulties.

As a matter of fact, harmful bacteria and infections in your mouth can literally spread through the bloodstream to your liver. This produces harmful proteins that could lead to systemic cardiac problems. Practicing good oral hygiene, such as, brushing, flossing and rinsing, will keep infections at bay.

Antibiotic Prophylaxis

Patients with compromised immune systems or who fear an infection from a dental procedure may take antibiotics before a dental visit.

Bacteria from your mouth could enter your bloodstream during a dental procedure where tissues are cut or bleeding occurs. A healthy immune system will normally fight off bacteria before they cause an infection.

If a patient has a weakened heart, certain cardiovascular conditions could be at risk. It’s possible to get an infection or heart muscle inflammation (bacterial endocarditis) from a dental procedure.

If you have a heart condition, including weakened heart valves, please let our office know prior to any dental procedure. The proper antibiotic will help prevent any unnecessary complications.