SYSTEMIC DISEASE & ITS ASSOCIATION WITH PERIODONTAL & DENTAL DISEASE

As with all medical systems, our aim is to eradicate all infections from your mouth.  Medical research has shown that in the event of heart attacks and strokes, they rarely occur in the absence of a bacterial or viral infection.  This means that compromised areas of your body are susceptible to infections from bacteria that enter your blood stream.  If you have a dental infection/abscess or periodontal disease, you are constantly seeding those bacteria into your bloodstream (septicaemia) with the possibility of those organisms infecting compromised areas of your cardiovascular system.  Research has shown that people with uncontrolled periodontal disease not only have a higher chance of suffering strokes and heart attacks but that they have a significantly higher incidence of dying from the event.  It turns out that heart muscle and blood vessel walls are very susceptible to bacteria of dental origin.  

Another concern is with artificial joints.  Typically, infection leading to joint failure is not related to organisms from the oral cavity.  Having said this, we will usually consult with your orthopaedic surgeon.

In order to reduce the overall risk to your health, our aim will be to reduce all oral bacteria by controlling periodontal disease, effective plaque control and treating infected teeth/jaws with either root canal therapy or extractions.

In the event that you are medically compromised, it may be necessary to perform treatments using antibiotic prophylaxis (coverage).  As some dental treatments greatly increase the entrance of bacteria into the blood stream, a one-time dose of antibiotics may be used to eradicate the bacteria before they can infect compromised structures.  Common instances requiring antibiotic prophylaxis include the following:

  • Leaky heart valves (heart murmur)

  • Aortic stents

  • Uncontrolled diabetes, especially Type I (insulin dependent)

  • Immunocompromised patients (prone to infections)

  • Patients undergoing certain forms of cancer therapy

Consultation with your physician or specialist may be necessary to determine if antibiotic prophylaxis is necessary.

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