How to Maintain Your Dental Health When You Have Heart Disease

How to Maintain Your Dental Health When You Have Heart Disease

Dec 01, 2021

Did you know that your oral health can affect your heart? In fact, your dental health can affect other parts of your body because the human body is a complex, interconnected system.  So, your overall health and oral health are tethered. Therefore, visiting our dentist in Phoenix can be of great help to your oral health.

Oral health for heart disease is vital because you need special care to improve your quality of life. The dental care benefits will supersede having a stunning smile and will help keep oral infections at bay.

So, here are some essential tips from our experienced dentists on how to care for your teeth if you have the following heart conditions.

Dental Care After Heart Attack

Heart disease and oral health are connected by spreading bacteria and other germs from your oral cavity to the different parts of your body via the bloodstream. So, you getting dental treatment is essential.

However, if you have had a heart attack, you may need to talk to your cardiologist before undergoing dental treatment. Also, inform our dentist near you if you are taking any medications, such as blood-thinning drugs. These drugs can cause excessive bleeding if you undergo oral surgery.

Additionally, you can inquire if there is nitroglycerin and oxygen available if you have a dental emergency.

High Blood Pressure

When you are diagnosed with high blood pressure or hypertension, your doctor may prescribe certain medications that may affect your oral health. Some drugs may cause xerostomia or dry mouth, leading to bad breath, tooth sensitivity, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Also, you may get calcium channel blockers that can cause your gum tissue to swell and overgrow. If this happens, you may experience chewing difficulties. Our dentist near you will give you specific instructions on how you can care for your teeth. However, if the issue is bothering you, you can undergo a gingivectomy (gum surgery to remove excess gum tissue).

Another issue that can be detrimental to your health is the use of epinephrine. Epinephrine is commonly used as an additive in most local anesthesia products. If you use epinephrine, you could experience unwanted symptoms such as angina, arrhythmias, heart attack, and dangerously high blood pressure. So, always inquire if our dentist if the anesthesia contains epinephrine.

Angina (Chest Pain)

If you have angina and your doctor prescribes calcium channel blockers, you might have gum overgrowth. You can also undergo gum surgery if the situation calls for it.

You can undergo any dental procedure if you have stable angina since the chest pain is predictable.

However, if you have unstable angina, you shouldn’t undergo nonessential or elective dental procedures because the chest pain is unpredictable. Also, if you need emergency dental care and have unstable angina, it should be performed in a dental office with cardiac monitoring capability or a hospital.


If you take blood-thinning medication (anticoagulants) after a stroke, inform our dentist because these medications will cause excessive bleeding during surgery.

When you have a stroke, your body may undergo certain changes. You might experience reduced saliva production. If this happens, our dentist will recommend the use of artificial saliva. At times, the stroke can affect the tongue, face, or even your dominant hand. Our dentist will recommend new flossing and brushing techniques, fluoride gels, and other strategies that can help you maintain proper oral hygiene.

Oral Health and Heart Failure

Water pills or diuretics are some of the medications that are used to treat heart failure. However, they can cause dry mouth. So, if this happens to you, inform our dentist that you may receive dry mouth treatments.

Is There a Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease?

Some studies speculated that bacteria in the mouth could travel in the blood and cause inflammation in your blood vessels. However, some studies refute the claim saying that if the relationship exists, it is purely coincidental.

So, as it stands, the link between gum disease and heart disease is yet to be determined.

Things to Remember About Dental Care and Heart Disease

To get the care that you need, you may have to:

  • Give our dentist a list of all the medication, including non-prescription medicines, plus the dosages you are taking
  • Give our dentist the name and contact details of your doctor in case our dentist needs to communicate to them about your care
  • If you feel nervous about undergoing dental treatment because of your heart condition, chat with our dentist and your heart doctor.

In any case, contact our dentist in Phoenix at ESP Dental if you have any concerns.