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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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Gum issues can lead to bacterial issues with the heart.Do I have to get antibiotics for this?

About year ago, I have been diagnosed with an enlarged heart. Since then, I have been exercising and eating right to lose weight , because I was 5 10 260lbs. Now I m 230lbs. Lately, however my heart has been hurting more. I also happen to HATE flossing my teeth! (I know! I know!) I did some research on the Internet and learned that it is believed that gum issues can lead to bacterial issues with the heart. I also read that this can be treated with AntiBiotics . I am unemployed and don t have medical insurance , so I can t afford to goto a cardiologist and get treated until I find a job etc. I recently bought a waterpik style device which can supposedly reverse gum problems. So now I am religiously brushing my teeth and using the waterpik after every meal . Therefore my question is, if my gums get better, will my heart get better too without going to the Dr. to get antibiotics(assuming that this is what my problem is?) Thanx!
Thu, 25 Jul 2013
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Dentist 's  Response

Gum infection can worsen heart issues if left untreated.

Please do visit a dentist and get a thorough scaling done.

Brush and floss your teeth as well as tongue daily.

Maintain oral care.
Use chlorhexidine mouthrinses to gargle.

Antibiotics has to be administered after consulting with your dentist.

Take care.
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  User's Response
Bad oral hygeine definitely have bad impact on heart particularly for the people already diagnosed with such disturbances. Because the bacteria associated with dental tissues have the potential for causing such heart problems.

Definitely, for sure, having a good oral hygeine reduces the bacterial load (bacteremia) in your oral cavity and consequently lesser chances of any further problem. Antibiotics are only used prophylactically (in advance for prevention), in heart patients prior to dental procedures, just to decrease the bacteremia during procedures. they are not meant for routine use to reduce bacteremia in cardiac patients.

But dear friend, all such things are based on statistical scientific studies. in case you have any heart problem in future, just don't start brushing/ flossing/ water pik etc, instead show to a cardiologist as well. a good oral cavity always leads to a good heart!!!!!!!!!!!1
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  User's Response
Oh boy. First there is a relationship with Heart Disease and poor dental hygiene however as far as I know this is a correlation study, not a causality study. That means there is a relationship between the two but that one does not cause the other. You are not having Chest Pain because of your teeth/gums! It is good that you have taken steps and lost weight and are now starting to work out. However if you have an enlarged heart then you are already behind the power curve. An enlarged heart is already in trouble and if you have increased your activity and you are starting to have more Chest Pain then this is a really bad sign. As in a sign that you could be about ready to have a heart attack. You need to go to a doctor now. I am sorry that you are in a tough position with money but it is either go to the hospital now or wait to have the big one and hope the paramedics can get there soon enough to get you back. I am not kidding, I am not playing, and I am sorry that this is not good news. If you want you can describe the type of Chest pain that you are having when you say that your heart hurts but more than likely my answer is the same. From what you have told me you are a prime candidate for a heart attack. As a medic I treat people having heart attacks almost everyday. The lucky ones are the ones that have symptoms like yours which is a warning sign. Some people get no warning sign. Get to the hospital, there is no easy fix for this. It could be something called angina but don’t bet on it. Please go to a doctor and tell him your symptoms. He/she will order a EKG. If you have an enlarged heart then I am sure you have had one before. That the old with you so they can compare the two. Please don’t wait! There are other things that it could be but I can not in good concious not advise you to go to the hospital.
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