Oral Health Clearance: Before Your Heart, Hip, and Knee Surgery and Radiotherapy

Getting surgery really does not make you think about your oral health, but you need to get an oral health clearance before the surgery. Why is that? Because bacteria can spread through the bloodstream in the mouth. When it does, joints are one of the places it settles. This may mean joint infections, especially when procedure has occurred and the joint area may be vulnerable to bacteria and other organisms that may lead to the development of an infection.

Today, nearly 75% of adults in the U.S. have some form and degree of periodontal disease. If left unchecked or allowed to become a problem, the bacteria found in the mouth can lead to high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, and other problems. That’s why we always recommend brushing, flossing, and regular check-ups with Dr. Mize. This will keep your mouth clean and healthy, and it will be caught and treated faster if an issue develops. For anyone with oral health issues, this is good news, because prompt treatment can mean a reduction in teeth loss, bad breath, pain, and other problems. It may also mean that a much-needed joint surgery or revision can be completed, as dental bacteria are minimal and do not spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream. We want to see people coming in and getting a full check-up before the problem gets out of hand. Preventing something or treating it at its very earliest stages is much easier than treating it after it has become a major problem or has become severe. Tooth loss can occur, and bacteria spread throughout the body can also threaten other organs and tissues.

You have the chance to improve your overall health more easily when you have good oral health, which can include surgery to replace a damaged hip or knee. People with better overall health also recover faster from such procedures and have less chance of having to undergo revision surgery.

Because of this, they can risk themselves. This is true of their overall health, but also true if at any point in time they need joint surgery. Rather than taking the risk or adding in a stronger or longer course of antibiotics during and after the surgery in an attempt to fight the problem, focusing on correcting the problem itself is generally a better choice. The way to do this is through good oral health habits, being consistent, and following Dr. Mize’s recommendations. We encourage all our patients to see us whenever they need to and ask a lot of questions so that they can take care of their teeth and gums as well as they can.