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How does bad oral health affect someone with heart disease?

Take care of your gums...help your heart? Possibly. The American Heart Association published a Statement in April 2012 supporting an association between gum disease and heart disease.

Gum disease is usually painless so it may be difficult to know you have this problem. The way to prevent this is through good oral health care, including brushing twice a day, flossing daily and eating a well-balanced diet. Seeing the dentist regularly for screenings and cleanings is also important for catching this problem early when it can be treated and reversed.

Not doing so can lead to worsening problems. As gum disease progresses, it can lead to long lasting impact, including loss of teeth.
Periodontal disease may make your heart condition worse. It is also possible that, with certain heart conditions, you may require antibiotics prior to any dental procedure. If you are at risk for developing infective endocarditis, then you may need these antibiotics. Your doctor and dentist will be able to advise you as to whether they are necessary.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.