* Re-published with permission from RelaxDDS.com
The connection between the mouth and the heart has been long established, where issues in one can create problems in the other. Bacteria in the mouth, for example, can enter the bloodstream under certain circumstances and cause complications where the heart is concerned. In fact, “anyone with a heart murmur or artificial joint knows that they may have to take antibiotics prior to dental treatment.” (Bonnick 55)
Chemotherapy can have negative impacts on the immune system, as well as the salivary glands. How is this important? Well, when the salivary glands come into contact with radiation, the common result is decreased saliva production. This can cause dry mouth, which opens the door for many issues including gum ulcerations and cavities. Osteoradionecrosis, which is the breakdown of bones that happens after radiation treatment, can be exacerbated by oral infections also caused by radiation. (Bonnick 56-58)
As you can see, bodily systems are connected in more ways than we might think. Medications, treatments, and lifestyles can all play a part in our dental health, and are all things that should be taken into consideration prior to a dental procedure as well to ensure that there are no surprises.
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Bonnick, DDS MAGD DDOCS AFAAID, Bertand A., and Kaye Bonnick. How to Overcome Fear of the Dentist. Bloomington: Author House, 2010. 28. Print.