New research suggests that having problem teeth extracted before heart surgery may actually lead to a significant risk of adverse outcomes, including heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, and death.
In this study, conducted by the Mayo Clinic, researchers looked at 205 patients with serious heart conditions who underwent the extraction of infected teeth before heart surgery. Although most patients have a risk of serious outcomes that is much less than 1%, 8% of these patients had problems.
Six patients died before their heart surgery. Another six died after heart surgery.
It’s important to note that this study was conducted among a very high-risk population. People with heart conditions are at significantly increased risk for anesthesia complications, and people who have both heart disease and infected teeth have even higher risks.
In the past, tooth extraction was recommended because of the risk of infection and dangerous swelling of heart tissue that can be caused by oral bacteria in an infected tooth. Researchers say this new data isn’t enough to change those recommendations, but it does mean we may want to revisit them.
The best takeaway from this study is that it’s important to take care of your teeth before you put yourself in a double jeopardy situation with other serious health conditions. In and of themselves, infected teeth can be dangerous, even deadly, so it’s important to take care of your teeth to make sure cavities don’t develop into tooth infections.
If you do have an infected tooth, a timely root canal can stop the infection and save the tooth.
It’s also worth noting that gum disease may be an important contributor to heart disease. Ensuring that your gums are healthy can reduce your risk of developing heart disease along with its other associated risks.
To help keep your teeth healthy, please contact Nicolas A. Ravon, DDS, MSD in Beverly Hills today.