Cardiac complications are expected to rise in the next several decades as the elderly population rises. For many senior adults, the complications of cardiac disease may require major heart surgery. For many adults, the risks of cardiovascular disease a major concern with many individuals striving to improve health outcomes before reaching retirement.
When heart valves, however, become faulty or are in need of repair, the cardiac complication often requires major heart surgery. Cardiac valve surgery is often attributed to the complications associated with aortic stenosis. In some cases, aortic stenosis is related to the development of endocarditis which, ultimately, may be attributed to a dental or oral health complication. While these complications can, at times, be resolved without surgery, most individuals need surgery to improve the long term cardiac health and cardiac damage that may be attributed to aortic stenosis.
If you are a patient who requires cardiac valve surgery, it is important to understand how the complication with your heart valve may have occurred. If your physician indicates the complication is a result of endocarditis, or aortic stenosis, it may be prudent to seek oral healthcare immediately following your heart valve surgery. Because endocarditis may have resulted from poor oral health, even with your cardiac valve surgery, your long term health will still be at-risk for cardiac complications.
While you may be inclined to treat your dental complications before cardiac valve surgery, many cardiac patients find they fail to follow up for continued dental treatment, post-cardiac surgery. As a result, you may be placing your health at risk for further complications, in the long term, as continued infection, or recurrent infection, can post a second or subsequent cardiac event. Because of the tendency to fail to treat dental complications post-cardiac surgery, physicians will often recommend seeking that treatment only when the cardiac surgery is complete.
Complications such as periodontal disease, caries, and oral lesions, all contribute to localized and systemic infections which, ultimately, may lead to endocarditis. With proper dental hygiene, however, many individuals find improvement in not only their oral health but reduce the risk for cardiac complications. While an infection in the mouth may seem rather minor, it may actually be indicative of a far greater health risk that will affect your cardiovascular health for the long term. To reduce the risk for needing cardiac surgery, maintain oral health properly and when complications of oral health arise, seek dental treatment immediately.