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Dental Hygiene and Congenital Heart Disease

Submitted by on May 18, 2012 – 1:25 amNo Comment

Dental Hygiene and congenital heart disease are interconnected. It has been seen that patients with a congenital heart disease generally also have a poor dental hygiene and are at a greater health risk.

Congenital heart disease and dental hygiene are linked to each other. Conditions like endocarditis are caused due to poor dental hygiene amidst patients having a congenital heart disease. There are many teens suffering from congenital heart disease and it has been observed that they also do not have proper dental hygiene. As compared to their healthier colleagues they certainly lack in dental hygiene. Ventricle physiology is another congenital heart disease problem. Adults afflicted with this condition are seen to have poorer dental hygiene practices than their colleagues even if they have shown a better pattern of healthy behavior.

Thus it is seen that dental hygiene and congenital heart disease are very closely linked. In case of those patients who suffer from congenital heart disease, poor dental hygiene behavior has seen to aggravate the condition of endocarditis. In case of children with congenital heart disease, the probability of their getting the problem again when they are adults cannot be ruled out. These patients are thus vulnerable to such complications always and so they should ensure that they maintain proper dental hygiene. In this way they can surely control and prevent conditions like endocarditis.

There have been researches to this effect on around 429 adolescents with congenital heart disease. These adolescents aged between 14 to 19 years were subjected to this research on the connection between dental hygiene and congenital heart disease. These participants completed a questionnaire which measured their use of alcohol, their indulgence with cigarettes and drugs, and their dental hygiene pattern and physical activity. Then the results from this questionnaire were analyzed and the risk scores calculated for the substance use. Dental hygiene was also analyzed and their dental visits, brushing routine, flossing procedures were tested. Then an overall health risk score was calculated thus also arriving at a dental hygiene risk score.

It was seen that the adolescents with congenital heart disease had a higher risk of dental hygiene problems. The results thus show that adolescents with congenital heart disease have a bad dental hygiene habit. So the crux of the problem is to analyze exactly why the adolescents show a lesser dental hygiene routine. This habit aggravated their congenital heart disease problem thus making it important for them to take control over their dental hygiene.

When a similar research was made between the ages of 16 to 48 years who had a congenital heart disease called ventricle physiology then it was seen that they were at a greater risk if they did not follow proper dental hygiene. Arrhythmia is another condition which is equally dangerous and is seen to increase with poor dental hygiene.

It was seen in the patients with single ventricle physiology that half of them were not in the habit of flossing the teeth. So even if they showed a good health pattern, their dental hygiene seemed to affect the congenital heart disease condition.

Earlier there were many efforts to prevent endocarditis in those patients with a congenital heart disease condition. Patients with endocarditis were asked to take antibiotics an hour before they were subjected to a dental procedure. This helped in preventing bacteria from damaged gums from entering the heart. These bacteria when they reach the heart through the blood result in endocarditis.

Thus dental hygiene is very important for preventing conditions like endocarditis and so congenital heart disease and dental hygiene are very interconnected.

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