Taking care of your teeth is not only important for your teeth and mouth, but it is also important for your entire body. There are many different health problems you can develop from a lack of poor oral hygiene, and endocarditis is one of these.

What Is It?

According to Mayo Clinic, endocarditis is an infection of the heart. It develops from bacteria in the bloodstream and damages the inner lining of the heart. If you have endocarditis, you may experience:

  • Murmuring in your heart
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Night sweats
  • Swelling of your legs and feet

If you do not know you have this, the symptoms will worsen and may cause permanent damage to your heart valves. Anyone that currently has heart problems has a higher chance of developing endocarditis, but anyone can get it. It's often hard to know that you have this disorder until you begin experiencing symptoms that are unusual.

How Does Oral Health Cause This?

Poor oral health can lead to a number of health problems, but it is the most likely cause of endocarditis. When you fail to take care of your teeth, your mouth will contain more bacteria and germs than it should. These things can lead to decay and infections, and this can spread to the rest of your body, including your heart.

This happens because the bacteria gets into your bloodstream and travels throughout your body. If it enters the heart, it will stay there which is the reason it damages the heart. The bacteria is more likely to stick to areas that are already damaged, but people with strong immune systems may be able to fight this easier.

How Is It Treated?

According to Medicine Net, the most common treatment option for endocarditis is with antibiotics. This generally involves aggressive medications that are needed for four to six weeks, and they may need to be administered intravenously. If this condition caused severe damage to the heart, treating it may require surgery.

You can prevent this from happening by taking good care of your body and heart, and by seeking help from a dentist, such as Brant N Olson, DDS PA. If you visit a dentist regularly and get all dental problems fixed as needed, you may never have to worry about developing endocarditis.

If you have not been to the dentist in a long time, you should consider making an appointment. Your oral health is not only important for your teeth, but it is also extremely important for your overall health.