By Dr. Scott L. Rose
When I thought about what I was going to write about this topic, I wanted to share some personal experiences rather than spew out some boring facts. So let’s get the classroom stuff out of the way first. Yes, there is a connection between oral health and heart health. And yes, poor oral hygiene and oral disease can adversely affect the function and health of your heart. But that street runs both ways. Taking care of your oral health is no guarantee that you won’t develop heart disease. You can have great hygiene, no decay, healthy gums, and still develop heart disease. I was one of those people.
Having suffered and survived a massive heart attack, having good oral health was one thing I did not have to worry about in my ongoing recovery. I see many patients who have had all kinds of heart conditions and this can complicate dental treatments and long term oral stability. So while it is important to take care of your mouth as a preventive action, it also serves to help eliminate problems and complications should something happen to your health in another area.
Recovery from acute heart problems (or any other major illness) can be a long and complicated process. We all personally have been through something or know someone who has been through something. And during that process, one little thing can often tip the scales in a bad way and stop or reverse the recovery process. Taking care of your oral health with regular dental examinations, cleanings, and doing necessary dental work can help you on both lanes of that health road. This is a bonus double effect. Recovering from any major medical issue is hard enough; take away some of that risk. Do the right thing. See your dentist.