Teeth Cleaning Can Help Reduce Recurrence

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A new study finds that cleaning your teeth is important for maintaining a healthy heart. Studio Firma / Stocksy Studio Firma/Stocksy United
  • A new study finds that treating gum disease can help reduce the risk of AFib.
  • There is growing evidence that periodontitis, a gum infection that damages the tissue surrounding the teeth, is closely linked to many other systemic diseases.
  • These include coronary artery disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Cleaning your teeth after heart surgery for atrial fibrillation (AFib) may help prevent the condition from returning, a new study finds.

this Reportpublished in J on April 10Journal of the American Heart AssociationTreating gum disease has been found to improve outcomes in AFib, a disease that causes irregular heartbeats.

Although the American Heart Association (AHA) does not list gum disease as a modifiable risk factor for AFib, there is growing evidence that periodontitis (a gum infection that damages the tissue surrounding the teeth) is associated with many other systemic diseases. Closely related, include coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Scientists are just beginning to understand the link between oral health and heart health, but suspect harmful bacteria in the mouth may travel through parts of the body, including the heart, causing inflammation.

This study is one of the first to investigate how gum disease treatment affects AFib, highlighting the potential cardiovascular benefits of maintaining good oral hygiene.

“Many studies have shown a link between left atrium size, presence of obstructive sleep apnea, frequency of baseline atrial fibrillation episodes and gender, but now we should consider gum health as a modifiable risk factor,” Intervention says Dr. Bradley Serwer, MD, Therapeutic Medicine.

Researchers evaluated 288 patients in Japan who underwent minimally invasive catheter ablation to treat AFib. During radiofrequency catheter ablation, doctors use a small catheter to heat the portion of heart tissue associated with causing atrial fibrillation.

The study was conducted from April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2022.

Of these, 92 received radiofrequency catheter ablation and treatment for gum inflammation.

The other 191 participants also underwent ablation procedures, but did not treat gum inflammation.

The researchers followed each patient 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after ablation and then every 6 months.

Over the course of the study, 24% of participants experienced a recurrence of AFib.

Those who had severe gum inflammation but received treatment were 61% less likely to develop AFib again compared with those who had severe gum inflammation but did not receive treatment.

The research team also found that, in general, people who experienced recurrences of AFib were more likely to have more severe gum disease.

The greatest risk factors for AFib recurrence include having gum disease, being female, and having an irregular heartbeat for more than two years.

“It appears that patients with severe periodontal disease are more likely to experience recurrence of atrial fibrillation after atrial fibrillation ablation,” said Paul Drury, MD, board-certified cardiologist and associate medical director of electrophysiology at MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California. .

Although the study was conducted on a small group of participants, the findings suggest that AFib patients may benefit from regular dental checkups.

“Treatment of periodontal disease improves the chance of maintaining atrial fibrillation recurrence after ablation,” Drury said.

Oral inflammation may lead to the development of other chronic diseases.

Earlier There is evidence that chronic or acute inflammation (a response to periodontal disease) is associated with AFib.

Bacteria in the mouth may also spread to other organs, including the heart, and cause damage in the past evidence suggestion.

“Other studies have shown that poor oral hygiene increases the risk of temporary presence of bacteria in the blood, which may directly lead to inflammation or damage to blood vessels or the heart,” Sewell said.

past Research Serwer added that it was also determined that people scheduled to undergo heart valve replacement surgery need to see a dentist beforehand to reduce the risk of infection or premature valve failure.

Scientists are continuing to study how tooth and gum inflammation and the bacteria in the mouth affect overall health.

“This report is very interesting and shows a link between periodontal disease and atrial fibrillation, but larger randomized trials are needed to prove this concept,” Drury said.

New research finds that treating gum disease can improve the treatment of atrial fibrillation after catheter ablation. Scientists are just beginning to understand the link between oral health and heart health, but suspect harmful bacteria in the mouth may travel through the body, including the heart. The findings highlight the potential cardiovascular benefits of good oral hygiene.

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