Dental Extractions and Your Heart Health
Heart problems have been repeatedly linked to poor dental health. Now, some doctors recommend extraction of infected teeth before heart surgery as a precaution against heart infections afterwards. A recent study indicates that pre-surgery extractions could actually place these patients at a greater risk of heart problems, including death.
Study, Published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Researchers looked at the adverse outcomes among 205 patients who had at least one tooth extracted before undergoing heart surgery between the years of 2003 and 2013. Among the study subjects, about 8 percent had major adverse outcomes, such as kidney failure, stroke, heart attack and death. Deaths occurred in 3 percent of participants after they had teeth extracted but before they underwent heart surgery.
Implications of the Findings
The findings of this study are likely to be a concern among dental patients who are preparing for heart surgery, but it does not necessarily show a clear increase in risk or offer alternative preventive measures. Perhaps most importantly, the study shows that more research should be done to clarify the apparent link between pre-surgery dental extraction and its adverse outcomes. For patients requiring dental clearance before heart surgery, extractions and other invasive dental procedures should really be performed with approval from the relevant physician.
Infections requiring extraction are best prevented through daily home dental hygiene and regular checkups, but expert care should be sought when teeth do need to be removed. Our expert in dental extraction in East Los Angeles is experienced at removing teeth and addressing complications, such as infection risk, along the way.
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